The Wolfman: Movie is a Howl of a Ride!

04/13/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving
Directed by Joe Johnston
Rated: R

Joe Johnston's The Wolfman breaks the remake mold, and has bought back the popcorn thriller in an unexpectedly refreshing way.

The story is based on the 1941 classic. Del Toro (Che) plays Lawrence Talbolt, who in trying to solve the mystery of his brother's murder, is marked by the wretched monster he pursues. He struggles to hold onto his humanity while succumbing to the baser desires of his beastly form. Anthony Hopkins (Beowulf, The Human Stain) plays Lawrence's father, who holds the key to the mysteries behind the deaths of Lawrence's brother and mother. Emily Blunt (Devil Wears Prada, Sunshine Cleaning) is Gwen, the mourning fiancée who tries to soothe the wild Del Toro. Hugo Weaving (Lord of the Rings and The Matrix Trilogies) is Aberline of Scotland Yard, who is both investigator and witness to the unfolding story.

The movie pays excellent homage to the original, adding just enough plot twists to keep the jaded movie fan interested. The acting is formidable, as only true talent can retell this tale without seeming campy or trite. No one does internal angst like Del Toro, or scary, sinister smirks like Hopkins. But with all due respect to the acting, this movie was made not in front of the camera, but behind it. This movie kept me on the edge of my seat with great camera work, amazing use of CGI, and bone chilling sound. The effects and post production work do not overwhelm the story as it does with Avatar, but rather elevates the story and makes this it a modern and thrilling ride. I looked to my neighbor about 3/4th of the movie in and exclaimed: "Wow, this movie is fun!"

I definitely recommend this movie for a date night. Sit back, relax, and hold on to your popcorn.