viernes, 12 de febrero de 2010

The Wolfman

It’s the late 1890’s, and Lawrence Talbot has returned home after the mysterious death of his brother. He meets his home almost in ruins, his father acting mysteriously, and the entire village acting suspiciously towards him. Talbot, investigating the details about his brother’s death, discovers that he was either attacked by a huge beast, or a savage madman. Sadly for Talbot, he’ll soon find out that it was a bit of both, as the town is under the curse of the werewolf, and Lawrence has just been attacked and received the curse. Will true love be able to save Talbot’s soul, or is he destined to be one of the damned, a werewolf by night? Yeah you recognize this plot, as it’s been done so many times it’s almost a joke, in everything from the original Lon Chaney film to the Spanish productions of Paul Naschy. I’ve always been a bigger fan of the werewolf than the vampire, mainly because of it’s pure bloodthirsty savagery, but also for the fact that he’s also a man. Many great actors have donned the role, and Benicio Del Toro is just the newest one. This movie features a lot in common with the 1941 original. The plot is almost identical at the beginning, even in it’s most awkward moments. I mean, if you can believe Lon Chaney Jr. can be the son of Claude Rains, why not believe Benicio Del Toro could be Anthony Hopkins’? Thankfully the movie is smart enough to use the original only as a blueprint, making it’s own changes and adding new scenes, while staying true to it’s original’s spirit. We get very interesting new scenes, the best being the London stuff, everything from the insane asylum’s tortures to the Wolf Man’s rampage in the streets of London (an homage to American Werewolf?). But the ending comes full circle with the original, having the Gwen Conliffe character being chased by the Wolf Man in the dark, foggy moors. The cast is excellent. Benicio Del Toro is a way better actor than Lon Chaney Jr ever was, and is able to bring his gruff size and sympathy without trying as hard as Chaney did. And when he turns into a werewolf, boy is he scary! No longer does the Wolf Man look like a drunken Russian on a three day bender, here he looks truly terrifying, and without the wardrobe continuity! Now don’t get me wrong, I love the original Wolf Man. But you have to admit, the werewolf itself isn’t very scary. Here he is, thanks to Rick Baker’s excellent makeup job.. Oddly enough, the CGI in this movie wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be… well, it was in one part, but I’lll get to that in the next paragraph. I was really happy to see a werewolf that was all about the carnage, ripping people apart and opening them like sardine cans. This werewolf was a real monster and had a lot of fun, and there was a lot of carnage on display here. We also get Anthony Hopkins as Sir Talbot, Larry’s father, taking over Claude Rains, bringing the same class and dignity to the original but adding a sinister twist, as well. Emily Blunt is also pretty good in the Gwen role, although for me, Evelyn Ankers was more memorable (and attractive). Hugo Weaving also shows up as a cop, and is very good.This movie is almost damn perfect, to be honest… except for one thing. There’s a ridiculous-looking CGI bear that almost took me completely out of the movie. I’ve seen better graphics out of a Mario Brothers game! Yeah it’s a bit of a pet peeve but it really is terrible. If you can ignore the beat however, you will see a flawless, Gothic horror film full of scares and gore and rich atmosphere, and some pretty damn good acting as well. Don’t miss it!

1 comentario:

  1. Yeah, there were one or two cgi animals that didnt convince me. Whats the point of using a CGI deer? Why not get a real one? It just seems like a lazy shorcut they took there.

    But the rest of the film is amazing.