A surprise gem of this year was the unusual and genre-crossing film Brotherhood of The Wolf. Whatever your views on French cinema may be, this is a must-see film for anyone who likes well-made action thrillers with added style. A film that bursts apart at the seams with breathtaking action sequences, spectacular fight scenes (anachronistically, the two heroes use martial arts to defeat evil), opulent, decadently lush images and a great deal of bodice-heaving bosoms. This is a period drama with added bite.
The story is based on an old legend from France, which itself grew up around true events that took place in the latter half of the 18th century. It is the 1760s, and a creature is stalking the region of Gevaudan, preying on women and children, leaving only their mangles corpses as proof of its existence and few terrified eyewitness accounts. Gregoire, a biologist from the King’s gardens is sent by Louis XV to determine what manner of beast it is, and if it can be destroyed. Hampered in his search for clues by the political plans and snobbery of the brittle nobility of the region, accompanied by his Native American blood brother, Mani and a young Marquis, Gregoire has to delve deep into the superstitions of terrified peasants to confront the evil that lurks underneath the beauty of the region.
Along the way, he encounters the lovely Mariane and the seductive and secretive Sylvia, along with a host of corrupt and incestuous nobles. Once he has solved the mystery, however, Gregoire must put a stop to some of the most arrogant evil ever seen in France, although the price of success is shockingly high…
Awash with dark humour, fabulous visuals and a fresh, innovative soundtrack, this film puts a new twist on the werewolf legend, and is a sound, satisfying piece of entertainment of those who like their action films intelligent and stylish. Highly recommended.
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