Thursday, 4 September 2008

No.58 : Wolf

 Wolf at the IMDb

On the way home from clinching a book deal in Vermont Jack Nicholson smashes his Volvo into a jaywalking wolf. Rather than drive off or hit it with a tyre iron he goes to see if it’s OK, and gets bitten for his trouble.

He quickly notices changes in himself such as hairy hands and improved vision and hearing. Just as well really, as his firm is being taken over and his job is on the line. He learns he is to be marginalized by new owner Christopher Plummer’s incoming regime, that sees slimy subordinate James Spader promised Jack’s job. At a party at the boss’ house, where he learns his fate, he meets Plummer’s daughter the slightly dull Michelle Pfeiffer.

Whereas he‘d have previously accepted his fate, he goes on the attack and threatens to take all the good authors from the firm and upset the stock price. Impressed by this Plummer agrees to Jack‘s demands while Jack himself is starting to lose time and wake up covered in blood. Suspecting something wolfy is going on, Jack meets up with an aged expert and begins to harness his new powers. When he finds his wife is seeing Spader he gives him a bite and her the boot, but things go pear shaped when the wife turns up dead.

The police suspect Jack but he was in bed with Michelle at the time of the killing - or was he? As the police move in we discover who the killer is and who else has the hairy hands syndrome. Can Jack find the happiness that he’s being denied in the non-lupine world?

‘Wolf’ is an OK distraction but it is so predictable and derivative that I wouldn’t recommend it. The plot essentially follows that of ‘An American Werewolf in London’ with the midnight hunts and enhanced senses all present and correct. I liked the idea of his new found talents being transferred to the dog eat dog business world but this wasn’t developed in favour of the dull romantic angle.

The big reveal at the end was seen a mile off and the whole thing was unsatisfying. The transformation scenes were very poor with yellow contacts and big side boards being all we get. The wolves can jump great heights but this just looked like basic wire work.

Nicholson is always watchable but this definitely falls into the playing himself category. There was no chemistry with Pfeiffer, and Spader just played his usual slime bag character. You do get some Cybil Fawlty for your money, so it’s not all bad.

‘Wolf’ offers nothing new in an already cluttered genre and you have to wonder why they bothered.Not to worry it’s finished nowooooo!

Best Bit :Michelle’s short skirt bitch fight
‘W’ Rating : 11/23

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