After the death of his brother, Shakespearean actor Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) returns to the family stately home in Blackmoor. His father John (Anthony Hopkins) and brother’s fiancee Gwen (Emily Blunt) wait for him there. Gruesome killings start to take place, tracked by Scotland Yard Inspector Abberline (Hugo Weaving).
These lightning fast bursts are combined, in the action scenes, with fanboy pleasing blood and guts – to a gratuitous extent. The blood and guts elements are not an organic part of the film’s planned shots – they are crowbarred in “inserts” or quick extreme close-ups of severed limbs, heads and splatters of blood. The point here is that these close-ups could well have been filmed after the film and inserted as needed in the perfect dial-a-gore-level system. There was either no directorial vision at the time of filming; or some high-powered producer with delusions of being artistic has come along in post production and, with arrogant unconsciousness of basic film-making technique, has insisted that “more gore” can be inserted with no negative impact on the final cut. Believe me, it happens.
The Wolfman is a film that, armed with no clear directorial vision, attempts to take on the world. Whether its Joe Johnston’s plan, or the naive afterthought of some executive producer, this is a film that attempts to simultaneously nail every demographic out there – fanboys and cultured cinema-goers alike. Unfortunately, The Wolfman ends up being a metamorphosed mess – like its protagonist – a half-humanistic, half superficial amalgamation – not the well-defined, tense and powerful supernatural event it should have been.