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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Revamped ‘Wolfman’ predictable but full of thrills

    Is “”The Wolfman”” a terrifying thriller that triggers your hands to clutch relentlessly at your armrests and that leaves you to suffer many a sleepless night? Not quite. It’s easy to predict when the next jolt or gasp-inducing incident is about to flash across the screen. But “”The Wolfman”” is surprisingly entertaining.

    Although it is based on the 1941 classic, the storyline, characters and, of course, the special effects of “”The Wolfman,”” have been revamped for a modern portrayal of lycanthropy.

    The story begins when Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns to his childhood home after receiving news of his brother’s startling disappearance. Lawrence’s sinister father (Anthony Hopkins), who locked him away in an asylum after his mother’s death, still inhabits the dismal estate of his youth. But when Lawrence goes in search of his brother’s whereabouts, he discovers that something more than human has been terrorizing the village, and, from the looks of its victims, it has a ravenous thirst for blood. When Lawrence himself is damned by a vile bite from the mythical beast, he uncovers secrets to his haunted past and must find a way to stop the vicious killing cycle.

    While “”The Wolfman”” is not a horrifying scream-fest, director Joe Johnston made sure there was no shortage of blood and guts. Slashed flesh, intestines, decapitations — I think I even saw a man’s liver get torn out of his abdomen. Yes, each exciting werewolf appearance is jam-packed with enough ooze to make you cringe. The creepy factor is also bumped up a notch when the hair-raising delusions of the psychologically tormented Lawrence add to the eerie, twisted atmosphere.

    Del Toro’s epic transformation from man to beast is easily the highlight of the film, brought to startling veracity by special effects expert Rick Baker. On the other hand, the romance between Lawrence and his brother’s fiancée, Gwen (Emily Blunt), seems superficial, carried by too many clichés and unoriginal confessions of love. The closing scene, unfortunately, was also a bit trite, leaving the audience with a corny elegy.

    Despite its predictability, “”The Wolfman”” delivers an entertaining two-hour movie experience. (In its defense, how can a movie not be predictable when the action is driven by the recurring appearance of the full moon?) Still, sprinkled with witty one-liners and some impressive special effects, “”The Wolfman”” is worth spending a few extra bucks to see on the big screen.

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