And fans of parkour, the French sport of leaping tall buildings and tumbling down stairwells, will admire Wolfy's skills as he hurdles the gables and chimney stacks of Victorian London, galloping across rooftops under a (yes) full moon, having just escaped from an asylum where he has ripped a corps of smug physicians to shreds.
Directed by Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jumanji), relying on fog machines and CG effects far more than on script or performance, The Wolfman feels like a film reedited and reworked so many times it has lost all narrative rhythm and suspense. (The famously troubled project was originally slated for release in November - 2008.)
Hopkins, bearded and barmy, seems to have made the decision to play John Talbot as if he were on laudanum - his line readings are dull and distant. Del Toro, with a New York accent explained by his character's years in the States trying to make a go of a stage career, looks haggard and wan - and that's before he's savagely attacked by a creature stalking a gypsy camp one night.
And Blunt, as Gwen Conliffe - a lady who loved Lawrence's late brother - looks beautiful as she climbs in and out of carriages with great urgency, coming and going and casting concerned glances at the brooding Del Toro. What would Young Victoria have made of all the paw tracks and claw marks, the blood and guts littered across her land?
If anyone seems to be having a good time in this leaden mess it's Hugo Weaving, in the role of a Scotland Yard inspector bent on capturing the werewolf no matter what. And how will he do that? By enjoying a pint of bitter and a newspaper in the local pub, waiting for the cries of alarm to start echoing across the village square.
If you want to see a movie about the animal within us, check out Fantastic Mr. Fox. Or rent the original The Wolf Man. At least when Lon Chaney Jr. mutates into a feral monster in the 1941 version, he doesn't look like one of the Berenstain Bears.
Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or email@example.com. Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/onmovies.