Review: Wolves


Director:David Hayter

Cast:Lucas Till, Jason Momoa, Merritt Patterson, Stephen McHattie

Running Time:90.00


Just what we need, another film about wolves.  Well, at least that is what writer/director David Hayter thinks.  Best known for his screenplay work on X-Men and its sequel, Hayter makes his feature-length directing debut with Wolves, an '80s throwback film that follows a high school football player who isn't quite as human as he once thought.

If you've seen one movie about werwolves, you've likely seen Hayter's--or at least something painstakingly similar.  Though the indie film shows signs of originality (most notably during its initial thirty minutes) and tries hard to be something a bit different, it ultimately falls short of truly making its mark as it succumbs to its familiar roots and uninteresting characters.

After killing his parents in the middle of the night, Cayden is forced to hit the road.  In the small, remote Lupine Ridge, he discovers others like him.  It is in Lupine that the film begins to struggle.  Though carrying a quick pace, the story hits a roadblock of sorts, unable to catch its footing as it works to introduce Cayden's ancestry and give him a reason to take on the town's alpha-male and work his way into the middle of a long battle between two ancient clans of wolves.  Surprise"¦it all stems from his immediate attraction to Angel, the owner of the only bar in town.

While I'll credit Till and co-star Merritt Patterson for an impressive werewolf sex scene, there is no depth to the sudden undying love between the two.  They lock eyes across the bar and boom"¦Cayden becomes irresistible.  (I can assure you from experience"¦it doesn't work like that.)  The move is cheesy, unneeded, and a bit ridiculous -- but then again, I'm not completely sure that Hayter didn't intend for this.

While the film posses a strong visual aesthetic, you can't help but immediately notice that the dialogue is rough, and the voiceover from Cayden (Lucas Till) makes you feel like a pre-schooler, slowly being led through the halls on your way to the playground.  Hayter forgets that his audience has a sense of intuition, a brain of sorts.  The play-by-play account of what Cayden is doing is an unnecessary distraction from the special effects/make-up work that is surprisingly sound given the film's obvious budget restraint.

The film relies heavily on its quick pace and entertaining fight sequences until the very end when Hayter gives us an overly complex ending that takes back nearly everything we witnessed over the previous hour and a half.  It is a reckless move on the director's part as he does the very thing he was desperately trying not to do"¦be predictable.

In the end, Wolves is a cliché Twilight meets Sons of Anarchy mash-up that, much like its central character, never fully understands its own identity.  It has its moments, and Hayter could have made it something truly special.  But alas, it simply wasn't meant to be.  I personally didn't mind the film though I can assure you that I have absolutely no interest in watching it again.  I'm not looking to get my time back, but its appeal is inconsistent and a bit unorthodox, making it nearly impossible to recommend.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

Leave a Reply