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The Wolfman
Directed by: Joe Johnston
Starring: Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt and Anthony Hopkins

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  Disclosure: "This is a thoroughly biased review - it's Del Toro for criminey!" - Emily Blunt

Bluntly speaking? Perhaps I should have been more specific when I paid that gypsy gal in East Prussia to whip up that love potion. I asked for Emily Blunt and Benidio Del Toro to kiss. They do. The other talented Ms. Blunt – and just within a film. Drat (for both of us at this point).

But, plundering mystical herb brew aside, one – who notices such things – can’t help but see the resemblance between a young Lon Chaney Jr. and Benicio. So casting is brilliant in this remake by Universal - the King of the monster movies - before CGI's capabilities made the elders look like fur suited actors snarling at Mr. DeMille et al.

Story goes… a curse is upon the man who has been marked by the beast. When the moon is full and the Wolfbane is in bloom…he absafuckinlutely rips people to shreds. This is no rabid poodle - be aware for the little ones.

It's a short time after Jack the Ripper was headline news when actor extraordinaire, Lawrence Talbot (Benicio Del Toro) is summons to his childhood home - a 40409309 room castle upon the moor.

He's been asked by his long-lost brother’s wife Gwen (Emily Blunt). Apparently, her husband has disappearred and she wishes Lawrence would help them search...

Um, okay. But they have to get Larry there to get the story going.

There's old family tension awaiting. Larry’s dad (Anthony Hopkins) is not on what you’d call great terms with the long-away son. In fact daddy dearest had his son sent away long ago after he witnessed a terrible death (<- a clever way to explain Benicio’s lack of British anything and the fore-mentioned unknown sister inlaw note one supposes...move on)

Then as the film is swiftly gathering momentum, faster than Lawrence can notice Gwen’s a looker and give the audience a few flashback scenes of what happened long ago, he’s bitten by some kind of furry beast outside the local creepy gypsy camp.

There's no surprises comin' here. The story is well known. There are a couple twists of the yarn that do not muck up the tale some of us adore. For the original Wolfman fans they've been sure to have a few subtle nods that will make you grin with glee. For new viewers (and generations), Universal has rebooted the iconic man-wolf from their history.

I’ll give you true of heart. Mine for BDT. Benicio is delectable in these frames. Sure, there’s not a British drop running through those six foot two Latin DNA strands – and that’s not a bad thing as far as this man-lovin’ feline is concerned. Sir Hopkins is his usual spot on word-wielding self. And Ms. Blunt is very PBS-y in that, “Someone get a skinny proper-looking era wench on set now!” She’s good but the film (thank God) is The Wolfman, not, Teen Wolf.

Snack recommendation: Gypsy goulash with a glass of pub-style ale

 

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