Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Nikolai Lebedev | 2006 | 136 min | Russia

A recent trend in foreign filmmaking is emulating Hollywood blockbusters on a less than Hollywood budget. Wolfhound is Russia's latest attempt at it. This time trying to make a cross between Conan the Barbarian and the Lord of the Rings films. While all of the film's budget is up on the screen, the refined professional look that's being attempted, just isn't realized. On top of that, money is spent on a slew of special effects and costumes, but the script and acting suffers because of it.

Wolfhound's titular character witnesses his parents and the rest of his village be killed as a child. Raised a slave, he escapes his shackles, and goes out looking for revenge. Along the way, he becomes involved in a mystical adventure that's pretty run of the mill. A princess, her nurse, a prince who she's meant to marry, a traitor in the camp, a big bad guy, and various other minor characters. The only original thing about Wolfhound is the Wolfhound's sidekick. An adorable bat named Ragged Wing because one of his wings has a tear in it which prevents him from flying. The little guy is a fun element, but is unfortunately the only consistently fun thing in the film's extended runtime. There's a decent 90 minute long time-passer under the fat if someone wanted to edit it down to the bare essentials, removing most of the cliched melodrama, and useless bit players.

A similar situation to the remake situation in Hollywood, a lot of original films could be made with the money spent on these overblown and hollow inferiority complexes. Think of all the small personal dramas starring Ragged Wing they could have made instead.

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