The Brotherhood of the Wolf Movie Review
As quoted from the trailer, The Brotherhood of the Wolf (Le Pacte des Loups) is the movie that is "taking Europe by storm." Really? I didn't know boring films could take a whole continent by storm.
A far contradiction from the exciting trailer, The Brotherhood of the Wolf is a long, drawn out drama built around a horror story, set in the serious times before the French Revolution yet featuring a kung-fu-capable Native American that almost has mystical powers.
The movie starts out in a very intriguing way, much like many horror movies do. A peasant woman runs through the fields, trying to escape some unseen force. Then she is pulled backward under a veil of snarls and grunts, and then is snapped around much like a victim in Jaws. Then the story spirals into boredom.
We are introduced to the heroes, a French philosopher of sorts and his Native American sidekick. The philosopher, of course, is skeptical of the Beast's existence, and the Native American is treated as though he's some Chinese wizard, not really magical but more keen and mystical than anyone else in the movie, and able to kick anyone's ass with some amazing fighting finesse. He's easily the most-likeable character in the film, compared to the main character, who is relatively boring.
The problem with The Brotherhood of the Wolf is that it is trying to do so much extra stuff that it forgets about the core of its story, the hunt for the wolf Beast and whatever else is behind it. For the longest time the movie consumes itself in a love affair between two of the characters, some political dawdling, and so forth. For the longest time the movie doesn't even concern itself with the wolf creature.
By the time the movie gets back on track, it's too late. I had almost fallen asleep three times, and the ending, though action-packed, is segmented into so many parts that it is hard to really enjoy it. First, what can easily be considered the most suspenseful part of the movie, we see the creature stalking the hero in the darkness. That's cool. But then the creature comes into full light and you realize that this creature looks a little too advanced for the time period, even if it is supposed to be mildly a sci-fi story. Then comes another period where the characters exchange dialogue. Then the two main characters go into the woods and a huge fight ensues, which is cool. The ending? No. The hero runs away and more boring things happen. Then the hero returns and finishes up.
I felt as though I was watching many movies at once, none of which were too interesting. The action scenes are good but they are so spread out that by the time you get into the last half hour, you're not interested anymore. The drama really isn't anything to scream about. And the movie seems to get away with a lot of things, like allowing some of its characters to "die" and then bringing them back to life.
I was really excited to see this great foreign film called The Brotherhood of the Wolf, but it is seriously one of the most boring films I have seen in a long time. The movie has great direction and awesome sound, and if it had remained focused on the story at hand it might have been good as well, but it is anything but.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.