Shartorius | Chicago Reader

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Re: “The Wolf Man Walks Again

Note: this review was based on the unrated DVD version.

I disagree with the reviewer in this article. I think the new film is wonderfully done.

Hopkins is...well, Hopkins. Sir Anthony could give a great performance with a script written by a three year-old, a paper bag over his head and the proverbial one hand tied behind his back. His malevolence may introduce a different theme than the classic version of the film, but I submit that it makes for a very refreshing change. And since the script isn't written by a three year-old (it's quite good), Sir Anthony Hopkins gives a very rewarding performance.

Benicio Del Toro is terrific as Lawrence Talbot. His inner struggle between the good--if somewhat vain--actor and the beast that takes him over is palpable. Yet there is more beast in this film than that of the titular role...and examples of evil by men who don't grow fangs with the full moon. The metaphor for prejudice against strangers, haughtiness and arrogance, use of religion as a means to justify violence and raw jealousy are all part of the package.

Yet people won't go to see this movie to brush up on their film critique skills. They'll come to see claw and fang, plus the wonders of what CGI can bring to the age-old werewolf transformation.

They absolutely won't be disappointed.

The special effects are staggering, but not overdone to the point where everything has that pseudo video-game look. The actors and lighting look realistic and believable. Even Del Toro's transformations (which leave little to the imagination) are inexplicably plausible in the way face, hands and feet gradually morph from human to animal.

This is, in my opinion, a movie with heft and depth. The actors truly seem to care about the characters they're portraying, and I came away feeling well entertained.

I certainly don't think this film does any insult to Lon Chaney Jr.'s role, any more than I believe it enhances it. It's a different film, for a different audience in a different century.

And in that regard, I think it hits the mark.

Posted by Shartorius on 12/19/2010 at 9:15 PM

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