a critiQal film review Brotherhood of the Wolf (2001)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: Fronsac (Le Bihan) and his mysterious companion, Mani (Dacascos), are sent by the King to a small village in France. They are to hunt down a vicious beast that has been terrorizing the village for two years. During the course of their stay, Fronsac falls in love with Marianne (Dequenne), a town beauty that has shunned any hopefuls for her affection. When the beast attacks again, Fronsac and Mani must fight to save her life...and their own.

343 words (Est. Reading Time 1m 42s)
  • ...find out for yourself why this film took France by storm.

Originally a French film, The Brotherhood of the Wolf was introduced to American audiences after immense French success. The preview intrigued me, so this became a probable rent when it arrived on DVD. With the advent of dubbing on foreign language DVDs, I could therefore skip the tedious subtitle reading of the film I would have done if I were to have the film in the theater.

Not being a large connoisseur of foreign films, none of the actors were familiar to me. If they were to strike out in American films, I believe they would be recognized for their acting, if this film is any indication. They all played their parts very well, and despite the absence of their spoken nuances (thanks to the dubbing), they kept the viewer interested and yearning to see what would happen next.

The plot was quite involved, with many surprising twists and turns. The action was intense, and the storyline intriguing enough to keep the viewer through the slow scenes (only a few, luckily). With a few of the plot twists being quite easily guessed at, it distracted the viewer from a few of the more subtle twists and turns.

The special effects were quite good, with only a few exceptions. The beast, when finally revealed, is quite well done, and meets up to the tremendous buildup. For some films (such as Contact), the film’s gigantic buildup leads to a disappointing conclusion. Luckily for us, the viewers, that is not the case here. The fight scenes are also extremely well choreographed and, along with some extreme camera effects, make for some very exciting scenes.

With the great feature of English dubbing available with the DVD, it opens this film up to a much wider audience. With it’s intriguing plot, an almost The Matrix (1999)-inspired fighting style, and good acting, Brotherhood of the Wolf is a good bet for anyone in the mood for a stylish action-packed suspense thriller.

Rent or buy it yourself, and you’ll see why this Brotherhood took France by storm.

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