One of the things that I feel we don’t get enough of within the land of cinema is gothic horror. Like, traditional sense kind of gothic horror. It’s nice to see a horror movie that doesn’t feature young studs and hot chicks doing all sorts of inappropriate things and then having to meet untimely ends at the hands of a killer who is not a fan of PDA. Despite that little sense of refreshment, Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman is nothing more than a hollow shell of its predecessor of almost 70 years ago.
Granted, the movie is quite entertaining, with Anthony Hopkins looking as though he’s one alcohol-induced shot away from keeling over and Hugo Weaving truly enjoying himself, perhaps a little too much, dressed in 19th century garb. The plot of the movie is really not hard to figure out, with Del Toro being bitten within the early stages of the film and then having to deal with going on wild rampages, eviscerating people left and right and who doesn’t love wanton rampages of utter carnage? Actually, the near cartoonish level of violence is pretty entertaining.
The Wolfman, for all it’s gothic charm and suave actors doesn’t have much life to it. For the most part the movie is fairly senseless, and you may have to watch the entire film to realize said fact; due to the quick pace of the movie, not giving you much time to reflect on whether or not you’re actually enjoying yourself. The actors also don’t seem to be taking the movie too seriously, having realized long ago what it is they got dragged into. Yet they manage to hold themselves together long enough for the credits to roll. Even so, the movie is just not that good, which is sad, because the film’s legacy is wonderful.
People nowadays are of the impression that making a good werewolf flick is hard and it’s not. The Wolfman could and should have been one of the more epic releases to come out in a long time, but doesn’t quite make the leap. Granted, the movie went through both a director change and a writers strike, and still found a way onto the screen, which in and of itself is fairly impressive. What’s up on the screen is not impressive though, but instead just your run of the mill fun. But hell, simple and plain old fun is good for the soul sometimes.