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Old February 14 2010, 04:48 AM   #11
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Location: Washington State
Re: The Wolfman (grading and discussion)

Del Toro. Hopkins. Weaving. Werewolves. "Blackmoor, England 1891". $100 million spent on fog, brambles and one crackerjack London sequence. How can it go wrong?

Here's how it could have: by taking itself seriously. Dean Ebert, take it away:

Gothic horror stories seem more digestible when set in once-great British country houses and peopled with gloomy introverts, especially when the countryside involves foggy moors and a craggy waterfall. This is, after all, a story set before the advent of modern psychology, back when a man's fate could be sealed by ancestral depravity.
Nailed it again, Rog. This isn't a grand, nation-hopping adventure like Dracula, nor is it a romantic, operatic adventure like 1999's The Mummy. It's about a werewolf who rips men's guts out, not because of any particular reason, just because. The hero is doomed not only by ancestry, but because he looks like a werewolf from the start! No Keanu-in-Victorian-England piffle here - taking notes, Francis?

And the movie delivers, with a blessedly short running time (100 min.), a babe who's beautiful but not distractingly pretty, excellent actors in Del Toro, Hopkins and Weaving, in his best post-Matrix/LotR role, and plenty of solid jump moments. There's also lots of MTV-style quick cutting and other modern editing tricks, but they give the movie a welcome kick. Also, in a fun detail, look for Charlie Chaplin's daughter as the old gypsy woman!

The only flaws? A brief but pointless intro and outro voiceover and an unnecessarily protracted death scene. (Can't anyone die in movies without giving a speech?) That, and I kept expecting Brendan Fraser to show up.

This is a B-movie done right, so a B it gets. It's not a modern classic like The Mummy, but it earns a place on the same shelf.

Last edited by Gaith; February 14 2010 at 05:00 AM.
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