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5 live review: Wolfman

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Mark Kermode | 10:36 UK time, Wednesday, 17 February 2010

5 live's resident movie critic Dr Mark Kermode reviews Wolfman.
Go to Mark on 5 Live for more reviews and film debate.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Listening to his final comments, it seems Dr K may have answered his own question about films that contain needless violence.

  • Comment number 2.

    Okay, BBC, really? I can listen to this review on the podcast from iTunes, I can watch it on youtube – but here, on your site, where I might maybe see links to other shows of yours, the content is restricted to Britain? Why?

  • Comment number 3.

    Why does Simon Mayo always look and sound so bored and fed up during these reviews?

  • Comment number 4.

    I enjoyed The Wolfman! (One of three it would seem...) It was beautifully designed and scored (certainly it would have been an abject failure without Danny Elfman's powerful efforts), despite a choppy script and the fact the actors were clearly on a different page to the studio's desire for more modern appeal

    Sean W

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Muddled" is probably the best description of this film - Atmosphere and period facial hair isn't enough. Also, I'm not buying Del Toro as 'Opkin's son in a month of Sundays.

  • Comment number 7.

    I went to see this hoping desperately that the reviews would be proved wrong over time and that it was going to be some sort of ignored gem - on paper it sounds like genius. Unfortunately it's three underdeveloped mini-movies bolted onto one another like a dodgy cut & shut stretch-limo with a sedated Che Guevara locked in the trunk. The first one wanted to be a wolfey Bram Stoker tale (occasionally resurficing for the odd sanitorium flurry later), the second wanted to be American Werewolf in Guyritchiedon and the third Teenwolf 7: The senior years.

    I read an article with Del Toro in the times talking about the psychological implications of scenes in the movie, but trying to say that the supposedly tense (camp) dialogue scenes are psychological studies is like saying that you have understood Freud if you have been on his Wikipedia entry.

    When I did enjoy the film was when I was looking at the beautiful images but actually imagining that I was watching the original 1940s Wolfman, which I've seen on TV and which is a strangley subtle and creepy movie which seemed consistant throughout.

    The Doc wanted to see a slightly hairy Jack Nicholson type wolf from Del Toro, bringing out the animal within himself, but after having seen the film and thought about it I disagree respectfully on 2 accounts:

    I don't think Del Toro is good at playing imaginary grotesques because he's too good at playing real ones (e.g. The Pledge) - he's too grounded to our reality (one of the reasons why he's my fav actor). Hopkins was good at it but should have been paired with someone like e.g. Rupert Everett, someone convincing as a physically striking, aristocratic cad brought down to earth by a self-destructive family, maybe playing it similar to his role in Seperate Lies, 2005. And at least if he was being camp it would be intentional.

    Secondly, I think that the only way to go with a modern wolf film, when your trying to top e.g. Underworld's lycanthropic SFX, is to NOT try and top it - i.e. use digitally enhanced Hitcockian tricks to bamboozle, confuse and evade capture, replicating the fear of the unknown in the village by maintaining mystery throughout - as in the original Wolfman. This then frees up lots of decapitation time to explore the characters' supposed oedipal/sexual/psychological issues in a more interesting way and how these relate to 'the beast'.

    The repeated tagline of the movie is to ask, where does man end and the beast begin, but this film does not deliver on that ambiguity, it just basically portrays everyone as completely 'beast', its just that some are weak and some are strong. Even worse, they crowbar in a sequel intro and wrap up the character storylines in such a way that all the actors but one become replacable if a sequel is commissioned, like seeing Jonathan Ross buying a house in Hollywood in February and booking a personal trainer, just incase.

  • Comment number 8.

    To ageispolismookid:

    It doesn't mean anything; Mark and Simon have been working together for over 15 years. They're very good friends. Only friends can behave the way these two do and get away with it. It's just the way Simon is; they're like a double act, and Simon is the straight man. ;)

    As for Wolfman, I have no interest in this camp, lame Antony Hopkins vehicle whatsoever. Hopkins can sod off back to the USA and stay there. Was he ever a good actor? Err, no. Camp, camp, camp.


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