Monday, February 15, 2010
The Wolfman, an updated version of the classic monster story, offers pretty much what you expect. A man is going to get bit, he's going to become a wolf, he's going to kill, and he's going to be killed. You know from the beginning who is going to kill him. There really aren't a lot of surprises or originality in store.
Perhaps the only new concept is that there is another wolfman. From this point, or even before, it doesn't take a genius to figure out there will be a wolf-on-wolf showdown. Instead of following in the classic tradition of Wolfman vs. Dracula or Wolfman vs. Frankenstein we have Wolfman vs. Wolfman. In a way, he's facing off with himself. It would seem poignant except that the character development is presented in flashbacks that are quick and choppy and feature effects not in keeping with the pacing and look of the rest of the film. In fact, they take away from the overall feel. So, I don't really care about the character's inner demons. The outer demon is much more interesting.
Although formulaic, the movie is entertaining. There are a few good quick scares. The attack scenes keep a balance between suggestive shadows and blood splatters and more modern heads being cut off and stomachs being torn open right in front of us. The effects are good and I give the movie a lot of credit for opting more for makeup and costumes over too much CG. The wolfman character himself is well-adapted from the classic Universal monster. No one is going to win any awards for this picture, but it didn't slaughter the original.
Rating: 5 out of 7 stars