Is that because Universal knew it would stink up the box office? Nah, who wouldn’t buy Benicio Del Toro as the son of Anthony Hopkins?
No, I’m serious! And there’s neither a sense of irony nor a sense of adoption papers in sight!
“Yes, Benicio is my boy,” said Hopkins as he embraced the Mountain Gorilla playing Benicio’s mom.
Del Toro is the only actor I can think of who has to have hair removed to play a werewolf. “Who better to play a Wolfman than a Man-Wolf?” asked director Joe Johnston.
Said Johnston, ” Benicio is exactly the actor you want if you believe a 19th century English nobleman should look like a 21st century Mexican Drug Lord.”
Hopkins, schmopkins! Anthony Hopkins may be much-revered, but reads a line like he’s posing you for a photo at the DMV. He delivers dialogue like he’s delivers a bedtime story – one that already put him to sleep.
“Now you know why I have these bags under my eyes,” said Benicio. “They’re sleeping bags. I should have brought my teddy and my binkie for this role,” Benicio sighed, as a bevy of production assistants fanned palms over Hopkins and dropped grapes into his mouth.
“Why is your hair so wild, Tony?” Benicio asked.
“This motion picture is set before the invention of the comb,” replied Hopkins. “But after the invention of my appetite,” he added, patting a belly so round he will be rolling, not strolling, down the red carpet.
Geraldine Chaplin plays an old gypsy woman. Said director Johnston, “Any time the director of Jumanji can tell Charlie Chaplin’s daughter how to play a scene, who’s the Little Tramp now?”
And who will kill the Wolfman? Let’s get Hugo Weaving (the guy who couldn’t catch Keanu Reeves) playing Detective Abberline (the guy who couldn’t catch Jack the Ripper). Nice track record! Weaving couldn’t catch a fly if the fly waved a white flag, tied its own wrists behind its back, and surrendered itself.
Meanwhile, all Weaving needs to do is load a silver bullet in a gun chamber and pull the trigger!
And why does it take a silver bullet to repel a Wolfman, anyway?
“Werewolves are more of a gold-loving breed,” explained Weaving in the same lackluster drawl he brings to every forgettable role.
Benicio isn’t a werewolf, he’s just insane, the doctors say, so he’s treated by being dunked into a tub of icy water. “I used to do that after I drank my lunch,” said a wistful Hopkins.
As much as I despise silly CGI that renders things in ways that don’t look real, there’s no avoiding the fact that Benicio Del Toro as the Wolfman looks like…a guy in a wolf suit. I don”t know whether to scream or to drop a fun-size 3 Musketeers into his pillow case.
I never thought I’d say this, but this Wolfman needs less brooding atmosphere and more swashbuckling heroics from, say, Robert Downey, Jr., and his sidekick, say, Tracy Morgan: Joke, unlikely escapade, near-death experience, joke, romance, Wolfman kill, joke. That’s the formula, gang, and stick to it, or Jerry Bruckheimer will stick to it for you!
It’s not long before the villagers and their torches and dogs swell across the moor in search of other Universal monster movies to appear in, and I’m right behind ‘em.
And don’t get me started on the laugh-factor of Tony Hopkins as a Wolfman. It’s a scream, really. Picture your face morphed with your dog’s, but fatter.
“I need to lose some were-weight,” growls Anthony Wolf-kins.
Great. An obese, sedentary werewolf. Hide the kids – and their Happy Meals!
Or Uncle Tony will growl them to sleep.