Brotherhood of The Wolf (2002)
"Alright stop crying and get ahold of yourself --it's just a coyote!"
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Brotherhood of the Wolf is one crazy flick. Is it a monster movie? Is it a action film? Is it a romance? Is it a kung-fu picture? Strangely, it is all of the above. Fusing genres can be tricky business, and while Brotherhood of the Wolf doesn't always succeed on all levels, it still manages to be a visual dazzler that you won't soon forget..
This French film takes place in 18th century Southeast France, and involves two men (Samuel Le Bihan and Vincent Cassel) who investigate a string of grisly murders in a small village. The townsfolk claim that the culprit is a murderous wolf, but the wounds on the victims seem to prove otherwise. Before long, Bihan and Cassel find themselves on the trail of something less than human.
What is completely apparent while watching Brotherhood of the Wolf, is that director Christopher Gans is a great admirer of film. With a tip of the hat to the likes of Jaws, Predator and several other genre pictures, Gans has created a visual funhouse that rarely lets up. But just when I thought I had a handle on this movie, it switches gears and breaks fresh dirt. Included, are several fight sequences that could be best described as a cross between Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the work of Jackie Chan.
This movie is also full of some eye popping special effects. Particularly, the creature effects. Yes, Brotherhood of the Wolf is violent--featuring some gruesome attacks and some fairly bloody fight sequences. There are also some great scares to be sure.
Above all, Brotherhood of the Wolf is absolutely breathtaking to look at. Even when the story seems to meander, I was overcome by the beauty of this picture. This is an ambitious epic made by film makers with a real passion for their craft.
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