Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wolf bites

Movie • WOLF • 1994
Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of a werewolf in Wolf is simply wonderful, but his performance barely saves this picture. In the end it turns out no better than a rainy day flick for when you don’t have any cookies to bake.
There is an attempt at a classic monster movie opening with the stylized film-work and soundtrack. It almost convinced me that the movie had promise, but it quickly turned into a slowly drawn out action romance. While the “bite” seems reasonable enough, the transformation is slow, albeit realistic. Where was the dramatic movie magic? Even in 1994 special effects were good enough to do a more convincing job.
The plot is a bit more involved than, say, an original Universal monster movie; but it doesn’t make the movie any more appealing. Michelle Pfeiffer was decent, but her strong presence makes it difficult to see her as a distressed damsel. This seems like a mistake, but instead it becomes an obvious hint of what’s to come. James Spader was what he always is… a jerk. I guess he’s typecast.
Forget the animatronics. Poor. The fight choreography was about as good as what you might see on a soap opera. This movie had great potential, but really ended up flopping like puppy ears.

Bonus coolness: Look for the cool skull behind David Hyde Pierce in his opening scene.

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