Saturday, February 13, 2010
Nog Sees The Wolfman!
Benicio del Toro, always brooding and hirsute, seems like he might transform into a wolfman in any of his movies, so he's well-cast in Joe Johnston's The Wolfman, a production that's apparently been delayed and reconfigured so often it's hard to say who's responsible for what. But what's finally been delivered is a pretty unwieldy mix of gothic drama (the production design is generally effective in conveying the eerie moors and insane asylums of Victorian England) and over-the-top CGI-gore (heads and severed limbs are flying, presumably in an attempt to please the teenage boy crowd, who will almost certainly still be bored for most of the film). While the CGI effects of the Wolfman's killing sprees may be run-of-the-mill and ill-suited to the tone of the rest of the film, the transformations (surely the mark of a great werewolf film) are at least reasonably successfully staged, though nothing to make you forget, say, An American Werewolf in London. By the end of the film, all attempts at moderately believable drama have been tossed aside, and we're treated to a werewolf-vs-werewolf battle that's unintentionally comic, proving once again that intelligent big-budget multiplex horror is pretty much a genre of the past.