The Wolfman

Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman also took its time getting to the theaters (2008, 2009?) but the results are fairly enjoyable. You know the story: Larry Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) goes back to England (in this case after his brother’s brutal death), gets bitten by a werewolf, turns into one himself (that darned full moon) and all hell breaks loose. He also falls in love with his brother’s fiancée (Emily Blunt) while trying to avoid the long arm of the law (Hugo Weaving) and the savage arms of the villagers—torches anyone?

To be sure, the film has its flaws, namely a love story that is meant to evoke the heartbreak of David Cronenberg’s The Fly, but merely seems under scripted and undeveloped. Better you should enjoy the authentic period atmosphere (this is one good-looking film); Del Toro’s performance as a man haunted by his past and condemned by his present; the transformation scenes which are riveting and harrowing; the scenes at the asylum where one can sympathize with poor Larry; an intense turn by Weaving; and in full scene-stealing (but rarely over-the-top mode) Anthony Hopkins as Talbot’s dad, who has a few secrets of his own—and when Hopkins tells his son to look into his dead eyes—you see them—and feel the command of an actor making the most of the material.