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Overall Rating

Awesome: 32.63%
Worth A Look47.37%
Average: 9.47%
Pretty Bad: 5.26%
Total Crap: 5.26%

6 reviews, 59 user ratings

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Brotherhood of the Wolf
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by EricDSnider

"A fun combination of genres, bogged down by too much story"
3 stars

If you combined “Jaws” with “Dangerous Liaisons,” threw in a dash of “JFK,” and filtered the whole thing through “The Matrix,” you’d have something like “Brotherhood of the Wolf,” a horror/period/conspiracy/action flick that is at once altogether original and strangely familiar.

It takes place in 1764, with a mysterious wolf-like beast killing women and children on the French countryside. King Louis XV sends Gregoir de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) and his taciturn American Indian partner Mani (Mark Dacascos) to find, capture and study the thing, whatever it is, and they encounter a whole slew of poofy Frenchmen, most of whom we won’t bother describing.

We will mention, though, Jean-Francois de Morangias (Vincent Cassel), a one-armed pessimist; and his sister, Emilie (Marianne de Morangias), who serves as Fronsac’s immediate love interest. There is also a good guy (mostly), one Thomas D’Apcher (Jeremie Renier), a nobleman with a pure heart.

But this is not just a movie about some people hunting down a monster. No, this is also a movie about an American Indian kicking the living crap out of people. Inordinate amounts of time are devoted to Mani fighting various groups of people; these sequences are filmed almost lovingly. You figure, there must be some reason why they’d spend this much time on nothing more than a fight. You’d be wrong, I think, but you’d figure it, anyway.

It’s also a movie with a brothel in which one of the whores is also well-versed in the art of divination. Your guess is as good as mine.

Eventually, we see the monster. Director Christophe Gans (who co-wrote with Stephane Cabel) is wise to follow to follow the example of “Jaws” and not show it to us until late in the film. He is unwise, however, to make use of such cheap CGI to create it. The monster looks awful. It’s a let-down.

There are also too many false climaxes in the film. Just when it ought to be wrapping up, it produces some saucy new revelation or ludicrous plot twist. We can laugh at a ridiculous movie for only so long before it stops being ridiculous and starts being tiresome.

The film is so thickly stylized, you can barely hack your way through it. Gans works overtime with cinematographer Joseph LoDuca to make everything look dreamy, eye-catching and bold. There are three editors credited, and each did enough work for one movie, in terms of form-cuts, jump-cuts, slow-motion effects and other folderol. It’s a gorgeous film to look at.

“Brotherhood of the Wolf” has no idea how silly it is. Movies about monsters either need to be aware that we’ve seen plenty of movies about monsters before, or else they need to be highly believable and realistic. This one overlooks both options, instead muddying the monster waters with cover-ups and conspiracies that don’t amount to much. All of that, and the film’s inability to end the story when it should end, detract from what could otherwise be a stylish, satisfying thriller.

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originally posted: 02/02/02 09:52:59
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User Comments

12/15/10 Josie Cotton is a goddess Looks great, but it really shouldn't take 2-hours to tell this simple stroy 3 stars
12/26/09 Merlin Cool movie based on real facts, who cares about historical inaccuracy? 5 stars
5/15/07 Bryan Based of History with a twist....GREAT!!!! 5 stars
9/14/06 Booksworm Good plot. Great action.BUT THAT WAS NO DAMN LION! 5 stars
2/12/06 chris f great film 5 stars
8/13/05 ES Fight, fight, fight, monster, fight, conspiracy, fight, RC church, fight, the end 3 stars
6/20/05 K. Sear A fun movie but it tried a little too hard in some places. 4 stars
1/11/05 Elizaveta very odd with a little too much native-american stereotyping. still enjoyable however 4 stars
6/02/04 Jim Possibly the best, and certainly the longest, film about a giant hedgehog. 4 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Fabooo. Looks like my dogs.Indian guy is hot.Good plot. Me like satanists and beasty thing. 5 stars
12/12/03 adam if you prefer plot driven action over action driven plot you'll love it. 5 stars
8/03/03 Shams Huque Great film visually... two nice action sequences. 4 stars
6/20/03 Sammy i thought the french sucked but they are pretty good at making a film 4 stars
5/22/03 Quinn Better than every french film ever made 5 stars
5/03/03 Gray total historical inaccuracy 2 stars
3/28/03 Stevo mad max+ sleepy hollow+ dangerous liaisons+the relic + crouching tiger= mad as fuck 4 stars
1/10/03 Paul Coleman Spectacular sleeper sensation!! Don't miss this one!! 5 stars
1/08/03 Mitsaso Monica Bellucci should have bigger part. 4 stars
12/17/02 aiken drum Could have ended up a bad cgi movie, but ended up so much more 5 stars
12/12/02 Jem Richards Ridiculous, flashy direction, hilarious (although not intentionally). Who wrote this? 1 stars
11/20/02 Sacre Bleu! About 1/2 hour too long; iffy CGI; average at best 3 stars
11/13/02 m.o.v A delightful change to Hollywood mainstream action movies! Different, smart, beautiful. 5 stars
11/12/02 Fonq35 Wack! It stars Mark "Straight to video " Dacascos.. c'est horrible avec beaucoup de fromage 2 stars
11/07/02 Crouching Randy: Hidden Savage Overly Long, but still in enjoyable flick in the tradition of Hong Kongs Best 4 stars
10/17/02 ownerofdajoint checkthispuppyout 4 stars
10/15/02 Morally Sound One kick ass movie! The bone-sword was slick. 5 stars
10/10/02 JesseL One of the best boogey man movies I have ever seen. 5 stars
10/09/02 spyguy2 Oh that is entertainment! A cool mess of a movie that is totally compelling. 5 stars
10/05/02 rue the whirl a beautiful lobotomy 2 stars
10/02/02 Headshot Very good. Worth a Look 4 stars
4/15/02 james Are you guys high? This is the worst piece of shit movie ever! 1 stars
4/07/02 Jessica Moorleghen a 2 hour respite from anything contemporary 5 stars
3/09/02 trigger amazing visuals, very cool cinematography 5 stars
2/25/02 n6ko tasty, with a hint of rosemary. lavish spread 5 stars
2/23/02 Chris Any movie that has an Iriquois Ninja and Furry fish from Canada gets my vote... 5 stars
2/21/02 Sharlah Green This movie is full of fun and it's so entertaining! 5 stars
2/17/02 malcolm would have been 5 stars if i didn't have to read subtitles. gorgeous from top to bottom. 4 stars
2/17/02 AgentDS Does John Woo have a french clone? 4 stars
2/17/02 Britt This was the worst movie I have ever seen. Seriously. 1 stars
2/16/02 Kisuta Entertaining and excellant visuals 4 stars
2/10/02 Gil Carlson B-, visually stunning, but loopy 4 stars
2/10/02 Monster Mashh I thought this was a movie about Wolf Blitzer's gay love affairs. Thank goodness it wasn't 5 stars
2/06/02 INCUBATOR Very stylish plus beautiful storyline 4 stars
2/05/02 M Baker Very cool 4 stars
2/03/02 Rogue DAMN! 5 stars
2/02/02 David I didn't know American Indians could kick so much ass. 5 stars
2/01/02 Gamps Hollywood meets French filming for a monster movie. Tight. 4 stars
1/27/02 Jimmy James excellent movie! 4 stars
1/25/02 Ron Big disappointment. Way too long (And i like long movies!) incomprehensible ending. Bad CG 2 stars
1/23/02 Jamie Madrox The wasn't a wolf. But ok. 4 stars
1/20/02 Artist Freak Interesting hybrid of horror movie, Matrix style camera work &a French 18th C period piece 4 stars
1/20/02 BttMnch A disappointment. This is one long-ass movie--I couldn't wait for it to end. Overrated. 2 stars
1/19/02 Zac Cook Horrible! The monster looked like it was made on a home computer! Don't see this movie! 1 stars
1/19/02 JJ sucked balls 1 stars
1/17/02 Titus Fascinating, stunning, fun. I didn't want it to end 5 stars
1/15/02 Nyartholep I liked it. A little high on the "That came out of nowhere" factor, but still fun. 4 stars
1/14/02 cool dude the movie was cool 5 stars
1/09/02 Harper Sloane Has everything - Big Wolfs,Kung fu,French 18th costumes and bosoms. Top show 5 stars
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  11-Jan-2002 (R)



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