» Wolf Movie Review

 by Bernhard Marshall - October 5, 2003

wolf movieWhen I wrote the last month's article, I felt the need to watch this 1994 Mike Nichols' movie again, which has a very good cast and such a great story. The Wolf movie is very entertaining but it has its flaws…

…And Then A Wolf Bit Me…

The movie starts with the publishing executive Will Randall (Jack Nicholson) driving through the snow-covered countryside and when he reaches out to clean the condensation from the front window, he runs over a wolf and stops the car to check it out. Then the animal "thanks" him by biting his hand.

Back in New York City, he gets back to his life routine and finds out that things are worse than they used to be.

The firm in which he works is bought by Raymond Alden (Christopher Plummer) and he learns that he's going to lose his high position in it to his ex-friend Stewart Swinton (James Spader), who is younger than him and is having an affair with his wife Charlotte (Kate Nelligan).

But remarkable changes start to happen to him. Some hair starts to grow around the wound that the wolf left, he starts to sleep through the day, his senses are heightened and last but not least, he meets the charming boss' daughter Laura (Michelle Pfeiffer).

jack nicholson in wolfHe starts an affair with her while the changes get more and more strong in his body. Frightened by them, he decides to visit a lycanthropy specialist (Om Puri) who tells him about werewolf legends.

He gives him an amulet that hinders the transformation, but causes him lots of pain during the night. Laura stays at his side as a good nurse through all this time, but inevitably he runs away to hunt in the city.

Then the problems with the movie start, due to the unecessary cliché scenes in which Nicholson appears hunting as a wolf, however this is a small detail compared to his acting and the way that he always makes us like the characters he plays, no matter how morally bad they can be - remember Batman and The Shining?

During an argument Randall bites Swinton and in the final confrontation the two fight as werewolves. 

james spader in wolfLaura and Randall go to her family's countryside property and he locks himself in a stall, fighting his mutation, but then Swinton appears and attacks Laura, forcing him to defend her.

In the end Swinton is killed by Laura and Randall runs towards the woods. But nights later, Laura predictably joins him, because she too turned into a werewolf and both start to live in the woods as wolves.

In spite of any obvious detail, this film is worth watching not only because it has such a good selection of actors, but also because it's beautiful and intelligent.

It brought the entire werewolf legend to the present as a means to make you believe that it's possible for a common man to turn to a wolf.

Next month we'll make a trip back to the 80s, to the movie that made one of the best Goth Rock bands get known...Curious? Not curious? No problem, check it out in the next issue. 

If you want more information:

Wolf movie review

Rotten Tomatos: Wolf movie review

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