The Wolfman: The Toy and a Quick Review

Anyone who knows me can tell you that there are two actors I will watch in anything: Liam Neeson and Benicio Del Toro. And so, when I heard that Benicio would be doing a remake of the Wolfman about two years ago, I was thrilled that I would be able to see Del Toro in something that promised blockbuster-style action–and in a Victorian setting to boot. The delays worried me, indicating that the movie might not be up to snuff, but I still bought my tickets for the very first night when at last it opened February 12th.

I wasn’t…disappointed. But I wasn’t thrilled either. It was a solid monster movie, atmospheric and beautiful when not splashed with blood and gore. The sets were beautiful, the acting competent (especially the always-delightful Hugo Weaving), but the story itself felt as though it had been cut out of something greater. Unlike most movies nowadays, which seem to regale in their length, I actually felt that this one sold itself short by, well, shortening itself. The characters were underdeveloped and the plot devices and twists felt rushed, but underneath it all there seemed to be some greater thread and richer story. I’m hoping that the DVD release ends up filling in the gaps that the film seemed to show, but overall I had a good time watching. Might not pay full price again, but it was $12.50 well-spent.

And while we’re here, how about a look at the figure from the movie? This, at least, does not disappoint in the least.

Available in 6-inch or 12-inch forms, Benicio’s Lawrence Talbot is a terrifying creature with snarling lips and vicious claws rendered expertly by the folks at Mezco. Available both clean and bloody from a recent kill, it’s a great addition to any fan’s toyshelf.

French Wolfman Poster: Pure Awesome!

The Wolfman poster above is one of a few American posters the studio released ahead of the 2010 film. It features the beautiful Emily Blunt and only the mere suggestion of the beast Larry Talbot (Benicio del Toro) has become. The other posters (seen here at WorstPreviews.com) feature a look at the monster himself, or at least at Del Toro, but theres something truly evocative and eerie about the absence of the Wolfman from the image: Blunt’s terrified Gwen Conliffe hides from something she can’t see and we the viewer are of little help, equally as likely to be surprised by his sudden presence as she. It’s a touch of class in a sea of posters that seem too desperate for attention.

But even it seems to pale in comparison to the French poster, whose minimalist approach and brilliant use of visual cues (the strength and weakness of the character, the Victorian styling, the secrecy implied by the fact we’re behind his back and, of course, the snarling wolf at the top of the cane) bring class, sophistication and genuine beauty to the tragic horror of the film.

I love it. It’ll definitely be the one that goes up on my wall even before the movie hits theatres.

And, naturally, because this is an action figure blog and I am hopelessly devoted to the pursuit of toys (and Benicio Del Toro’s career), here’s a link to pre-order Mezco’s brilliant 6-inch and 12-inch figures. I’ll be snagging these ASAP.