ReviewWriter: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Underworld”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Van Helsing”
Can you spot a howler when you see one? While "The Wolfman" has succeeded in avoiding the superhero/supervillain movie genre tag, we finally discover why Universal has released it so many moons before the summer blockbuster tent pole where it ought to belong - it's actually scarcely more than a stylised, predictable, B-grade creature feature packed with A-list stars. For a werewolf movie that is remade off the 1941 classic with Bela Lugosi and Claude Rains, the CGI bits may have helped but the traditional SFX bits sure look as if nothing's changed from the days of stuntmen in ape suits!
Poor Benicio del Toro. Apparently he's a fan of the '41 movie and also a memorabilia collector. Despite a clever development to write in his American accent into the British plot, he's ultimately miscast and probably looks better as a vampire than a werewolf. Even make-up artists reportedly conceded that it's hard to make an already hairy man cinematically compelling as a werewolf! Thankfully, while lycanthropy may have turned man to animal, it sure hasn't turned actor to dud. The man still has a huge presence. However, his beastly role is largely eclipsed by that man Sir Hopkins and this werewolf movie also marks the strange oddity of not having the customary man-and-beast character struggle. Either that or it was too fleeting for this reviewer to catch it!
Yes, it sure feels like a supervillain movie gone wrong. When the full moon is on and it's time for some werewolf action, more discerning viewers might get the sinking feeling of watching Edward Norton in "The Incredible Hulk" all over again. Worse, some may even feel like watching the oversized wolves in "New Moon"! Strange how the able hands of "Jumanji" and "Hidalgo" director Joe Johnston did not wield the same magic over "The Wolfman". Perhaps that's why they took so long to finalise this underwhelming movie.
Other things of note are Hugo Weaving's peculiar role as a Victorian era Agent Smith (he even speaks the same!) and also Emily Blunt's (titular role in "The Young Victoria") uneventful turn. There is also a distinct lack of colours other than black and grey in this movie, which unfortunately set the tone for something mysterious and macabre that never materialised. Truly, an unhelpful addition to the werewolf movies catalogue but a bearable time-killer for those who don't mind.Cinema Online, 09 February 2010