Who doesn’t love a good werewolf movie? American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Dog Soldiers, hell, even Ginger Snaps are all good werewolf movies. However, the advent of CGI has given us a plethora of bad werewolf movies… (does anyone remember American Werewolf in Paris?).
2014’s Wolves (starring Lucas Till, Stephen McHattie, and Jason Momoa) may not be a “good” werewolf film, but it is certainly better then some of Hollywood’s recent attempts at the genre (did you see the Wolfman remake?).
The Story revolves around the young Cayden Richards (Lucas Till’s character). A kid with everything going for him, quarterback of the highschool football team, hot girlfriend, well to do parents… etc). All of this changes (assumingly when he turns 18) when the werewolf curse immerges.
This is the point that I find the first major flaw of this film. In an attempt to be “new”, the film makers decide to change the age old lore of how and were werewolves come from by adding in a strange genealogy of “Purebred Wolves” of which Cayden is unknowingly apart. (is it really new, or did they take it from Teen Wolf).
After attacking his girlfriend, and killing his adopted parents, Cayden flees his old life in search of answers. On his journey he stumbles upon a scarred up biker in a bar that also happens to be a purebred werewolf named Wild Joe. Joe points him in the direction of the not so subtly named town of Lupine Ridge.
Once in Lupine Ridge, all the Hollywood clichés start to flow forth. The town lives in fear of the purebred Connory (Game of Thrones Jason Momoa) and his tribe of half breed wolves. In an attempt to keep the peace, the town wolves have promised the young purebred wolf Angela (Merritt Patterson) to Connory. However our protagonist falls in love with her first setting the stage for the films final confrontation between Cayden and his real father Connory (yes, they went there too).
As I said earlier, the film is ok. The supporting cast does a great job, the film has a nice look, and the story (although predictable) moves along at a brisk pace. My main problems with the film are the lack of scares, the disruption of a well established lore, and the way they make the protagonists (Cayden and Angela) look like Disney versions of werewolves… This is a werewolf film that was written to be a big budget Hollywood crap film, and then didn’t get the money to hire the big budget talent for the leads. Although this probably helped the film overall, the filmmakers should have realized that any script that calls for a “sexy werewolf” needs to be rewritten… extensively.
So if you like werewolf movies, accepted the werewolves in Twilight, couldn’t get enough of the Underworld Wolves, and were able to sit through Christina Ricci’s Cursed, you may enjoy this. But if werewolves aren’t your cup of tea, this film won’t change your mind.