Lawrence Talbot's (Benicio Del Toro's) childhood ended the night his mother died. His father sent him from the sleepy Victorian hamlet of Blackmoor to an insane asylum, then he goes to America. When his brother Ben's (Simon Merrells') fiancée, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt), tracks him down to help find her missing love, Talbot returns to his father's estate to learn that his brother's mauled body has been found. Reunited with his estranged father Sir John Talbot (Sir Anthony Hopkins), Lawrence sets out to find his brother's killer, and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself. Someone or something with brute strength and insatiable blood lust has been killing the villagers, and a suspicious Scotland Yard Inspector named Aberline (Hugo Weaving) comes to investigate.
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The Unrated Director's Cut includes additional scenes not seen in the theatrical release:
The Universal logo at the beginning of the film is the 1940's logo used in the original "The Wolfman"
Ben Talbot's death is slightly longer.
An entirely new sequence showing Lawrence Talbot performing in a London play. Gwen Conliffe visits him in his dressing room post-show and interrupts a party to inform him that his brother Ben has gone missing. Lawrence dismisses her by saying that he cannot help as he is contracted to do 30 performances and is leaving for the States in the morning. This sequence creates an anachronism/goof later in the film as instead of mentioning her visiting him in London, Lawrence continuously references a letter that Gwen sent him which brings him to Blackmoor (as seen in the theatrical version).
As Lawrence travels by train to Blackmoor, there is a scene with an uncredited Max Von Sydow as an old man who gives Lawrence his silver wolf-head cane as protection (the cane that Sir John Talbot wields at the end of the film).
The tavern scene is slightly longer. After MacQueen's "melted down me mum's silverware" story, the villagers scoff at the notion of the killer being a werewolf, and blame the Talbots' misfortune on their dealings with the gypsies. One of the villagers calls Lawrence's late mother a "crazy gypsy whore", and Lawrence angrily confronts him and throws a drink in his face. After Lawrence is kicked out of the tavern, the villagers realize his identity.
When the posse fires into the hole after MacQueen's arm is ripped off, a rifle slug nails MacQueen in the chest, killing him. Additionally, there are a number of deleted and extended scenes:
After his attack, Lawrence has a short conversation with Gwen where she blames herself for the tragedy that has befallen the Talbots. Lawrence looks out the window and sees the posse that has come to round him up and tells Gwen to get his father while he goes outside to talk to them (the "you bear the mark of the beast" scene)
Lawrence's conversation with Singh is slightly longer. After Lawrence asks him why he never left Blackmoor, Singh explains that Sir John saved his life many years ago and that as a result he vowed to stay by his side.
The mausoleum transformation scene is slightly longer.
The London chase scene is longer. The Wolfman walks into a costume party / opera performance and is mistaken for a costumed patron. He attacks one of the patrons but is chased off by Aberline and his men.
Additionally, the Wolfman crashes a puppet theater performance in a park and kills the puppeteer. Aberline chases him out of the park and into the path of a steam engine (as seen in the theatrical version).
The final fight is slightly longer and sequenced differently than the theatrical version.
The Wolfman started out well. I enjoyed the atmosphere of the movie, and it seemed to be building towards something for the first thirty minutes or so, but then all of the sudden it lost its way with a lack of imagination and a predictable ending. That is why I can only give it a 5 out of 10 or in other terms about ** out of ****.
THe plot is easy enough and follows a simple monster plot. Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) returns home after learning that his brother has disappeared. Once there he meets up with his strange father Sir John (Anthony Hopkins) and his brother's fiancé Gwen (Emily Blunt) who was the one that wrote to him telling him about what happened. Once home he learns that his brother was killed, and hears stories about a beast that might've caused it and that the Gypsies are to blame. Trying to learn of his brothers death, he visits the Gypsies and soon comes face to face with the beast which attacks him and passes the curse onto him. The rest of the story is pretty obvious from there, so I will say no more.
I found myself getting into the movie, but then there is a secret that is exposed not even half way through the movie that becomes way to predictable and shatters any mystery that the movie might've had. I was expecting a little bit of imagination here, but it was not to be. Sadly this leads to a climax that is just plain ridiculous. The finale finds its way back a little bit, but it is not enough to save the movie.
The acting at first seemed a little off, but it does improve somewhat though not enough. Anthony Hopkins has a few good lines which makes you think there is more to the story then what there really is. If you've seen the trailers, which give way too much away in my opinion, you will not be shocked where this movie eventually ends up going. Hugo Weaving, who plays an inspector hot on the tail of the beast, also has a few funny lines, but the one character that seemed to take this material more seriously and acted the best would be Emily Blunt's character. I reacted to her character more than any of the others.
THe story itself was sort of choppy, and it bothered me somewhat. The first half hour of the movie and build up is still the best, but what follows goes where a monster movie of this caliber should never go, and it becomes silly and almost laughable. However, as I said before, the final few minutes redeem the story a little.
I loved the atmosphere, and I was glad they went to a more Gothic setting. Some scenes, like the pub, and the sets reminded me of An American Werewolf in London and the original Wolf Man. There were even some themes in the movie taken from the 1962 Hammer Version of Curse of The Werewolf. I liked that the director used these scenes in this movie, but it's too bad he couldn't use more imagination to make the movie as a whole work much better.
Disappointing, but not a complete failure.
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