The Wolfman

Rated 2.0

A man discovers that he is also a wolf. Hey, it happens. Just look at the last 75 years of movie history. Probably the first real problem with The Wolfman is how long it takes for the man to make the discovery. We’ve all been waiting. Anyway, he’s played by Benicio Del Toro, which seems like great casting until you remember that so did Jack Nicholson in 1994’s Wolf. With minor help from Anthony Hopkins as distant dad, Emily Blunt as love interest and Hugo Weaving as determined Scotland Yard inspector, Del Toro does OK going through the Wolfman motions: brooding, morphing, hurting, howling. Let’s say less OK with line readings, partly because the lines themselves aren’t OK. Screenwriters Andrew Kevin Walker and David Self, along with director Joe Johnston, have paid their respects to Curt Siodmak’s 1941 original, but apparently haven’t decided whether camp or reverence is the way to go. Some cheap thrills lurk within Shelly Johnson’s underlit cinematography and Danny Elfman’s overbearing score, but mostly it’s just the sad fact of an archetype reduced to the wrong kind of howler.