First of all, this film is French. I must have forgotten that when the DVD first started to play, because the voice over was English. Then the dubbing was pretty skillfully voice-matched. However, once I realised that it was dubbed, I flicked straight over to French audio and turned the subtitles on. And THAT is how this film should be watched.
At first, I was drawn to it, because I have a thing for Mark Dacascos (Crying Freeman is great, if a little cheesy) and I could see that he was going to be kicking some ass in it.
Then the story began to catch me.
Gentle pushes at a love story with a fabulous fight scene or two which, though out of place in 1700s France, were still great to watch.
The film charts the hunt for a cruel and vicious wolf terrorising the people of the countryside. The King (Louis XV I believe) had sent numerous grips to capture and kill the beast, but none had been able, until the arrival of the good doctor and his adopted Indian brother.
What I also didn’t realise was that the story was based on a true one. There really was a creature chomping down on the villagers in the 1700s. There really had been several attempts to get it and there really were in excess of 100 deaths. I feel the need to watch it again with that knowledge forefront in my mind as I feel that would have made some difference to how the film felt for me.
Regardless of that, it was a highly enjoyable piece, with impressive sets, beautiful costumes, and kung-fu worthy choreography with even made me pause, rewind and play a few times.
The wolves were beautiful too.