Sunday, 21 December 2014

Review: Wolves (2014)

Werewolves have been somewhat out of fashion in the movies for a long while, but they have howled their howl every now and then from the chorus of zombie screeches and vampire... snarls. David Hayter's Wolves is the latest attempt to bring back the weres and while its early minutes are somewhat unpromising with the Twilight overtones, the story has a bit more up its sleeve than your average teen romance.

Cayden Richards (Lucas Till) is a successful college football player with a beautiful girlfriend (hence the fear of another Twilight story), but his life comes to a serious turn when he attacks a member of the opposing team, tries to attack his girlfriend and finally wakes up with the blood of his dead parents on his hands.

Cayden flees his home town and becomes a drifter (in a somewhat strange looking two minute collage) until he bumps into an older man who recognises him for what he is and directs him to a secluded town, cunningly named Lupine Ridge to throw off any suspicion that its members might have something to hide (oh, bugger...). Once Cayden enters the local bar, he immediately spots a dangerous looking fellow with strange lupine eyes (Jason Momoa) who seems to be in charge of the town. The next thing he notices is the beautiful owner of the said bar and they have a "moment" as their eyes meet (so much for the lack of a romance plot).

From there, the plot treads a relatively predictable path, but there are one or two surprises that keep it very slightly above mediocre. However, this is not helped by the somewhat silly werewolf masks, especially that of a certain blonde lady, that have you smiling incredulously at the screen, wondering what you are, in fact, watching. Also the characters are a bit uneven, showing unprecedented knowledge of explosives at convenient times.

The werewolves are - happily - more than your average bloodthirsty monsters. When the characters turn into their bestial selves, they retain their cognitive abilities (not that it amounts to much for most of the characters) and are even able to speak. There's also an often-seen difference between born werewolves and infected ones, the latter being the weaker of the types.

Overall, Wolves is hardly above mediocre, but it was fun seeing Jason Momoa (of the Game of Thrones fame) in another role. Well worth a watch if you are a fan of werewolf stories, but perhaps only good for a single viewing for others. It is, however, better than the average werewolf film, mainly because most of them fail to impress on so many levels that it is not even funny.