Brotherhood of the Wolf Review

Based on the 18th century French legend of the Beast of Gevaudan, the story follows two men, Gregoire de Fronsac(Samuel Le Bihan), a naturalist and philosopher, and Mani(Mark Dacascos), his quiet Native American friend, as they attemp to track down the beast that has been terrorising the province for years, and reported to have killed over 100 people.

Director Christophe Gans does the smart thing of never giving anything away until necessary, and this applies equally to the beast as to the schemes of the Gevaudan nobility(many of whom are veterans of French cinema). In fact, we never see the beast until the second half of the film.
The first half is mainly concerned with tracking down the elusive beast. Once revealed, the film kicks in to overdrive as Fronsac and Mani hunt it down, and learn of a secret society, the Brotherhood of the Wolf, formed to uphold Christian values in a time when such values are beginning to wane. It is this society that has been controlling the beast in order to put the fear of God into the French court, which has begun to separate itself from the Church.

Like a cross between Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and An American Werewolf in London, Brotherhood of the Wolf is a visually stunning film filled with martial arts action, political intrigue, Indian mysticism and moments of eeriely intense horror, all set against a backdrop of beautiful French countryside. Throw in Monica Bellucci as a Vatican spy masquerading as a prostitute and you have one of the most stylish films ever put to screen.

Review by: Retro

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