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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Unpredictable Wolfman needs more organization

In+the+movie+The+Wolfman%2C+Laurence+Talbot%2C+played+by+Benicio+Del+Toro%2C+searches+for+answers+to+his+brother%E2%80%99s+disappearance+and+faces+his+own+horrible+past.%0D%0APhoto+courtesy+Universal+Pictures
In the movie The Wolfman, Laurence Talbot, played by Benicio Del Toro, searches for answers to his brother’s disappearance and faces his own horrible past. Photo courtesy Universal Pictures

By Joshua Knopp/reporter

In the movie The Wolfman, Laurence Talbot, played by Benicio Del Toro, searches for answers to his brother’s disappearance and faces his own horrible past.
Photo courtesy Universal Pictures

The Wolfman movie was as bipolar as its titular character.

This movie seems like many different ones pieced together awkwardly. Almost every scene has a different feel to it.

The only thing in this film that did not change in terms of quality was its plot, definitely not that of the 1941 classic. When the estranged Laurence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns to investigate the disappearance of his brother, he finds that a strange beast has been murdering residents of his hometown of Blackmoor, England.

What began as a short trip to investigate becomes a journey through his past, a “wilderness of horrors,” to discover what frightening mystery lies in the present and future.

In its best scenes, this film is terrific. It has long, silent stretches that nonetheless hold the audience’s attention through their placement in the plot and a superb use of shadow to create tension within the scene.

Another quality aspect is the multiple dynamics among the characters. Talbot’s estrangement from his father (Anthony Hopkins), his burgeoning love for his brother’s fiancée (Emily Blunt) and the mutual suspicion between him and Inspector Aberline (Hugo Weaving) are all portrayed well with a combination of tremendous acting and rich dialogue.

In its worst scenes, this film is laughable. The action sequences, which are all over the top, are the worst, and thea wolf makeup simply isn’t the best with the technology available. While there are scenes of tension and drama, these sequences are sprinkled in, breaking up every attempt at consistency.

If The Wolfman seems like many different movies, that’s probably because it is. The movie went through multiple changes in pre-production, including a change of director.

Then, after an unsuccessful screening, the musical score was called into question and “certain scenes” were re-shot differently. The climactic battle was shot twice and spliced together. While Del Toro returned for re-shooting, Blunt could work only three of four weekends, and Hopkins couldn’t return at all, doing his re-shooting in Los Angeles.

Director Joe Johnston has already said an extended cut will release to DVD, but probably more attention should be paid to a possible director’s cut. In a disjointed, over-edited film, a director’s cut could provide the organization and uniformity that was lost in the theatrical release.

 

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