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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

Wolf; Grade: C

Wolf takes placed in a facility in the forest, treating patients whom have Species Disorder. Those whom have Species Disorder are those whom believe they’re not human, that they are some kind of animal. In this facility, the goal for these patients is to work and develop their human side over the course of time, so they can go back to the real world and be with other human beings.

The only thing I knew about Wolf was reading a headline on MovieWeb, that the trailer dropped as it’s about a man who believes he’s a wolf, a wolf trapped in a mans body, or a man becoming a wolf… I just quickly read and hope I forget the headline as a whole. There’s been a whole lot of films this year with some kind of animal titled; Pig, Lamb, and now Wolf… Shouts out to animals I guess. Wolf is almost on par with Lamb as far as weirdness goes, I would side with Lamb just because Lamb is a tad weirder than this… We’ve seen human beings act like animals in films before so this isn’t new with Wolf. Out of the three… Wolf so happens to be my least favorite.

Wolf as a concept alone is intriguing, but the way it’s introduced in the beginning reminds me a lot of Yorgos Lanthimos film The Lobster. Both have a facility, both have some kind of animal ties with it, both feature beings that aren’t all normal from the outside world, and both for a partial portion have comedic ties that can be very dry humor. The whole idea of these beings being treated in this facility for this kind of disorder, was something I really haven’t seen before and in this day in age considering furries are becoming oddly popular… This is a neat idea to take on, it’s different. You can explore a whole lot with this idea and can dive deep into this disorder as not only the audience gets invested in comedic/entertainment purposes, but also learn how one can possibly develop this disorder as well.

The cast assembled for Wolf were all pretty damn good as a whole, all these actors delivered really great performances as the way they portray the animals they were portraying were spot on. You can tell all these actors were pretty passionate and dedicated to their roles, I think this could’ve been much of a disaster to the point where you grow a great amount of irritation against it, but it’s helmed in such a very mature way even if there are ridiculous over the top moments… They never break character or you get a feeling they’re mocking these people, terrific job by the actors and pretty good direction by Nathalie Biancheri. Also loved Paddy Considine as the antagonist, I hated his character in a great way, as he was a despicable character indeed.

The story to me is where disappointment comes about. With an intriguing unique concept like this, I expected to be wow’d when it’s introduced as I caught myself laughing hard in the beginning. Unfortunately not only the comedic chops dies down, but also my interest in the narrative for me does as well. There are sequences that are handled well that keep the story moving at a fairly nice pace, then there are sequences that are kind of boring. It sometimes felt like the film maker tends to get lost here and there, as she couldn’t decide whether to make something worth wild or make something more on the art house side… The art house side where it’s just characters passionately sniffing each other for a good few minutes or walking like animals as nothing happens… Ehhhh.

The story does have solid moments, I enjoyed the beginning sequence, a part of the third act sequence, the romantic scenes were weird but developed well, and some solid moments of deep dialogue especially the surviving as yourself line in the ending. The sequences in which the trainer tries to get these beings to stop beings animals… They’re brutal however extremely effective. I can see how one would have to have this strict harsh mentality into wanting to lure these beings back to being human, I thought this film would’ve went more extreme in these moments as I was on the edge my seat especially the Parrot and the window sequence.

Wolf potentially almost delivered a very satisfying third act, but unfortunately it takes on a route in which I didn’t care for at all. It involves with the being acting like animals and this man whom works at the facility, it felt like a breaking point where these beings have had enough with the cruel treatment as they were finally standing up to themselves. The way it escalated reminded me a whole lot of Logan, where the kids stalled helping Wolverine until he was brutally beaten to death, as the kids realized they had powers as they should finally go help him, it’s almost the same thing but in this movie only the opposite happened. It could be the fact these beings are vulnerable to a powerful man, man is often known to control animals and have the power over them. But at the same time wild animals whom are consistently poked at to the point where their temper is broken do not mind attacking man at all… You can look at it two different ways, but I gotta say the way it turned out really bothered the hell out of me and really lost a potential great ending.

The last sequence of the film… Why?! All the sacrifice made to get to this point, as you decide to go backwards, while the other goes forward?! MEH! I do believe if this film was helmed by Yorgos it would’ve been a lot better for sure, there’s a whole lot of potential here to create a great project however… Just misses the mark for me, but at least there’s some things to like about it.

Overall, Wolf was just ok. I suggest giving this a try whether it be a theater experience or waiting at home, especially if you’re into films that want to give you something completely new and out of the box.

Before I cap off this review: Congrats to my dear friend April Cinco, whom FINALLY got engaged to the British G himself Grant. 6 Years maybe a long time in a relationship to pop the question, however when it comes to that commitment… Can’t rush it, you rush it you more than likely fooked up. April Cinco has always been known as the Queen of Coronado High School… I’m so happy she found her King in Grant, much love to my dear friends. You’ve done a great job Grant, you have been a big part in April’s incredible progression into becoming a terrific woman, as I always knew she would be able to succeed on that potential. I wish y’all nothing but the best… Bless Up. -Mitch Smietana

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