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Wolf (1994)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
Genres: Horror, Horror Comedy, Satire, Werewolf Film
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Director:
Mike Nichols Mike Nichols
Starring:
Jack Nicholson Jack Nicholson
Michelle Pfeiffer Michelle Pfeiffer
James Spader James Spader
Kate Nelligan Kate Nelligan
Richard Jenkins Richard Jenkins

5.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Crispy
Added: March 30, 2008
When I was a wee little tyke, this number caught my eye at Blockbuster more than once. Inspired by my recent werewolf kick, I decided to hunt this one down. It wasn't the blood filled horrorfest I was hoping for, but it wasn't exactly a bad movie. Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly a good movie, either.

On a snowy night, while driving back from Vermont, Will (Jack Nicholson) slams into a wolf. Thinking it's dead, he tries to drag it off the road, but it jumps up and bites him in the hand before running off into the woods. As it turns out, Will's got some other problems. He's the editor-in-chief of a small publishing house that was just bought out by a business tycoon, Ray Aldend (Christopher Plummer). Will had been taking heart in his employees rallying around him, but it turns out his protégé, Stewart (James Spader), had been backstabbing him the entire time, swindling his way into Will's old job. However, it seems the wolf bite has had an interesting effect on the man, and he soon finds his senses and drive have been both greatly enhanced, and after he finds out that his wife has been having an affair with Stewart, he has nothing else to lose. With an assertive mindset he's never known before, he fights to regain his job and and his pride. Along the way he finds himself drawn to Aldend's beautiful daughter, Laura (Michelle Pfeiffer). Naturally, this newfound rejuvenation is only the tip of the iceberg, and Will quickly finds out the wolf's bite has an extremely high price to pay.

The thing about Wolf is that it's not really a werewolf movie. Hell, it's not really a horror movie. The main focus here is Will's new mindset allowing him to deal with the people who have been walking all over him all his life. Plus, they throw in some half-assed romance sub-plot between him and Laura, and oh yeah, he spends his nights running around with contact lenses and really bushy mutton chops. These scenes are thrown in almost as an after thought. The whole werewolf aspect makes for an interesting twist on the story of a man righting the wrongs against him, but at the end of the day, it never really accomplishes anything except making the plot very disjointed. With that said, when these predator scenes were taking place, they were done pretty well. And even the scenes of the reinvigorated Will taking his life back had some entertainment value, but this film is trying to pass itself off as a horror movie, and the horror is just not there. That, my friends, is false advertising.

Many films fall into that "good idea, bad execution" line, but Wolf seems to be more along the lines of "bad idea, good execution." Even though Jack Nicholson was great as always, he still couldn't bring this to an acceptable level. I mean, sure, I'd be lying if I said it didn't have some entertainment value, but it just didn't know what it wanted to do with itself, and when people pick up a werewolf movie, well, they want a werewolf movie. This one really couldn't deliver, and to be honest, I have no inclination of going out of my way to ever watch this again, so I'm going with a 4/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 03/31/2008, 12:18 AM
4/10? That's a bit too generous. I rented this just because it was a Nicholson film, and I was very letdown. I knew it would be bad, but not this terrible. 0/10
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 03/31/2008, 11:15 AM
I am a big fan of this film. I love the way Nicholson plays the character and I love the way the film takes time to unfold and develop the characters for us. I also love how it shows Nicholson's gradual transformation into the wolf. There are also some pretty damned cool scenes in the film. 7/10. Easily. Maybe even higher once I watch it again.
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