Welp, I dunno how Benicio Del Toro ever found himself with the fortunate or unfortunate assignment of having to portray Moe Howard... yup! Looks like he's still stuck with it. Somehow, portraying the infamous Wolf Man is good preparation for him. Of course, the violence here is somewhat beyond the scope of the Stooges. Almost as bad as... what's that movie? Dead Alive? No, Dead Alive's still worse, but we're trying to catch up! And of course, it's not lost on too many regarding the irony of casting Anthony Hopkins in this mess. Is HE a werewolf? Is he not? Oh, but I've spoiled it enough already.
Now, I'm sure all the hipsters over at The Village Voice and The Onion are going to just out and out hate on this movie... I dunno! I kinda liked it. At least it wasn't directed by Stephen Sommers. It would've been ruined for sure. If memory serves, there were even some decent imagery to be stolen from this outing, if only I had it on DVD (hint hint)... and the time to watch it again. As for the crew, it's an interesting mix of people who worked on Sleepy Hollow and An American Werewolf in London... well, I guess it's just Rick Baker. Also, the title sequence reminded me a bit of Coppola's Dracula, of which Hannibal Lecter was also a small but significant part. Hopkins' dialogue was a slight cut above the usual pablem we get these days, which is probably a credit to Andrew Kevin Walker. Self is good too... or is he? And of course, plots these days have to be intensely interwoven, making everything a family drama. Sam Raimi's Spider Man movies did this pretty well; not so much here. They didn't go so far as to make Emily Blunt the werewolf; see the end of Wolf for that. I was surprised; maybe I'm wrong but the movie wasn't as video-game-y as it could've been, at least in the big action sequences... okay, except for the part where Del Toro's running along the rooftops. More importantly, the film looked like a damn film, not some bastardized streaky digital video abomination. Nevertheless, the golden age of cinematography is behind us, all due respect to Shelly Johnson.
The door is left open for a sequel. Is it so much to ask to have a wolf man on the right side of the law for a change? Sensing that just ending there would be kinda corny, the film ends on a highly philosophical note. It's a sin to kill a man, not to kill a beast... at least, not in our half of the world. But what about that damn pesky middle ground that the Wolf Man inhabits? The person who asks this question forgot that they already answered it a little bit earlier in the movie... I'll leave it at that.
Rated R for bloody gore and violence... but no swear words, thank God!!
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan