‘Wolfman’ looks smart, plays dull 

“The Wolfman” has the look and the feel of a movie that has been chopped up. In it, Benicio Del Toro plays Lawrence Talbot, a man crestfallen by the murders of his mother and brother, and none too tickled by his father’s nasty temperament.

Anthony Hopkins is ideally cast as Sir John Talbot, the foul-tempered patriarch of a family with more than a few dirty secrets. Hopkins excels at playing characters like this. Devious, underhanded and always with a mischievous glint in his eyes, he’s the movie’s greatest asset.

A remake of the 1941 classic, “The Wolfman” is a handsome production hamstrung by a rhythmless narrative. Originally slated for a November release and subsequently reshot and edited nearly to the point of incoherence, the story of a man cursed by a werewolf and seemingly doomed to terrorize the English countryside is long and needlessly complicated.

An impressive cast nearly rights the ship. Emily Blunt makes the most of a modest role as the proverbial damsel in distress, and Hugo Weaving lends a welcome dose of ferocity to Scotland Yard’s Inspector Abberline, the man assigned to hunt down the mysterious beast of Blackmoor.

The makings of an enjoyably campy creature feature are here — the cast, convincing effects and some biting flashes of humor amid the mayhem. Yet, its banal plot ultimately gives “The Wolfman” the feel of an opportunity wasted.

 

MOVIE REVIEW

The Wolfman

Two Stars


Starring
Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt
Written by Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self
Directed by Joe Johnston
Rated R
Running time 2 hours 5 minutes

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Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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