Review Date:
Director: Mike Nichols
Writer: Jim Harrison, Wesley Strick
Producers: Douglas Wick
Jack Nicholson
Michelle Pfeiffer
James Spader
First of all, I want to thank Brock Landers for slapping a solid review of this film up here a few weeks ago, which is what made me think about picking up this movie when strolling around the video store this weekend.

Unfortunately, I didn’t appreciate the film as much as Brock did and here’s why. I liked the premise of the film, the whole contemporary “werewolf” theme, I LOVED the casting and performance given here by Jack Nicholson (was there ever any doubt?) and I certainly appreciated the new twist on the old story, but overall, I just had too many “little” issues with this film.

First of all, I never “got” Spader’s character in the movie. I know that he was supposed to be a hypocrite and all, but I just didn’t seem to get enough of a handle on the guy, to care either way.

Secondly, I thought that both relationships in this movie had something missing. The one featuring Nicholson and his wife seemed to start off well, but after about 20 minutes of the movie, she disappeared off the face of the planet, only to re-appear for obvious reasons near the end. I also didn’t buy the quick “love” relationship between Nicholson and Pfeiffer, which invariably had to do with either the script and/or the lack of chemistry between the actors, and I guess I’ll blame it on both of those factors this time around.

Another problem that I had with this film was in its use of slow-motion shots (which was all that I could remember about this movie from when I saw it in the theaters when it first came out). Don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely LOVED Rick Baker’s werewolf gear on both Nicholson and the other wolf, but what was with Nichols’ decision to make every scene featuring the man-animals in slow-motion!??! I don’t know…maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine, but it just annoyed me and had me harping back to episodes of “The Six Million Dollar Man”…not a good thing…

I also didn’t think the picture needed another “wolfman”, and would’ve rather the film revolved and concluded more with Jack and his own struggle with his “disease”, but that’s just me talking about something that wasn’t there, so that’s not really fair to the film.

But enough negativity because I did still enjoy the whole of the film, the way that Nicholson’s character behaved and slowly transformed over time, the opening scene with Jack and the wolf (very cool!) and many of the secondary characters, who jazzed things up every now and then.

But the main reason why I hung around so interested as I did was the fact that Jack Nicholson was the main ingredient in the movie and as per his usual style…he just fuckin’ rocked the house!! An amazing performance in a role that couldn’t be more suited for him. Of course, many will say that he is basically just “playing himself”, but what can I tell you, the bastard’s got a chunk of charisma and I just love watching him in movies, especially ones like this.

So I would still recommend this movie to anyone interested in watching a “werewolf” movie set in New York City, with early cameo roles from ‘Frasier’s David Hyde Pierce and David Schwimmer from “Friends”, a very cool showing by Nicholson, some decent wolf stuff (although the slo-mo didn’t work for me) and a pretty neat ending to boot (I love the way Nichols kept shooting close-ups of their eyes….way wicked!).

(c) 2021 Berge Garabedian