Benicio Del Toro comes out of the jungle for the English countryside in the remake of the Lon Chaney Jr. classic "The Wolf Man."
The film boasts a talented cast (Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, and Hugo Weaving), smooth special effects, and great make up. That's where the excitement ends. This version of the Wolf Man is not as endearing or as enduring as the original (much akin to Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes). The storytelling is sloppy, the acting seems forced or rushed, and the relationships seem disenfranchised.
Del Toro plays an English actor who returns from America to solve the mystery of his brother's death (even though Del Toro is estranged from his family for many years). He is called back by his brother's fiance (Blunt) and the two develop romantic interest in each other for seemingly no reason at all (animal magnetism?).
Where the movie excels is in its action sequences. A number of thrilling scenes highlight the film, but barely keep it entertaining. The werewolf transformations are neat, but don't revolutionize the genre. Del Toro delivers in parts but wavers at times. I've never been a big fan of Blunt and Hopkins seems to be mailing it in. Weaving is as gravel-y as ever, but seems to retread his Mr. Smith character. The film essentially feels like From Hell with werewolves. Rent it.