The Wolf and The Lion sound like the title to an epic, lovable animal, adventure movie. You know, the type of movie where the film makes human characters a plot device to give the animals something to aspire to get back to so their lives can be fulfilled.
Does This Feature Hold With the Classics?
Just like the classic, “Homeward Bound”, where a cat and two dogs travel across the country to find their human family. Maybe you watched the more recent, Harrison Ford-led film, ” The Call of the Wild”, that featured the tale of an exceptional dog and his human friend finding their way and their true selves while traveling the bone-chilling and dangerous Alaskan wild.
These movies are just a couple of many that highlight what you might have wanted to see in a movie called The Wolf and the Lion. Somehow, this film missed the mark but it is worth exploring where this movie might have gone wrong. Before we get into what The Wolf and the Lion is not, let’s find out what this film is actually about.
Tell Me a Story
After her grandfather’s death, Alma tries to return to her childhood home – a small island situated within an incredible mountain range. She rescued the lion cub from an enclosure and the wolf pup was brought to her by its mother. Alma looks after the two helpless cubs, and the two cub brothers become inseparable, but when forest rangers learn of it, Alma and the two animals are separated.
The two cub brothers must travel through the forest on a treacherous journey to reunite with one another and make their family whole again. This sounds like some of the same thematic elements you may have encountered with some of your favorite films in this same genre but the question remains, why didn’t this work in the theaters?
What Went Wrong?
The problem with the movie “The Wolf and the Lion” is that it is not very well written. The Wolf and Lion is not well because the story leans so heavily on its animal actors to fill the void nothing particularly interesting which leaves the film with no real plot. The main reason for seemingly scattered storytelling is the animals could only be around certain members of the crew during filming. The writers had to complete 16 revisions of the script during production to accommodate the animals to get through filming.
This knowledge validates the thought that the writers lean heavily on the animals to fill empty spaces in the plot. Otherwise, the movie is just a series of events that are not connected in any way, making the story not very interesting. Ultimately the film does not capture the attention of viewers.
Regretfully, This Movie is Missing More
There is a lack of memorable dialogue and the characters’ stories are not developed. Special effects, mainly the scenery could have been handled better as they were not able to convey the beauty of the landscape but this was a minor nit-pick in comparison to the problems with the script. In most cases, cinematography and acting cannot save a poorly written script.
Unfortunately, this movie does not deliver in those departments as well. The actors seem to be doing their best given the little they were given to work with but they also seem to be detached from the story, making it difficult to feel any connection to their characters.
I Was Excited about This Film
I was excited about this film for a couple of reasons. The title was definitely part of it. I had never heard of this pairing before and it was intriguing because it sounded unique. The production did not use CGI for the wolf and the lion and the animals look great on the screen. The other reason was more about my personal interest. I thought this film could be a surprise sleeper of the year; a movie that is smaller in comparison to the tent pole properties, like Marvel or Harry Potter, that could be a hidden gem.
Honest Rating: Fire Or Trash?
The Wolf and the Lion is a well-meaning story. It would seem that it was created to inspire and possibly bring attention to the treatment of animals. These are very noble intentions but the execution is poor; it takes away from the message the movie is trying to convey to the audience. Some of the tropes we have all seen before in other films of the same genre and that’s not the problem.
The problem is it did not feel like an original idea even though the title is so unique. There is a blueprint to this type of film but this production proves the blueprint alone is not enough to make a good movie. The animals did well but the human connection did not feel strong. I would have to rate this movie a “trash can”(please check out the rating system). This is not the worst movie but I could not recommend it.
The Wolf and the Lion is not as interesting as its title suggests for a few reasons. The movie has no plot or suspense. Those areas may have been hindered by its animal actors; the animals could not be around the whole crew, only a select few.
The human actors had issues of their own as they seemed to be doing their best given the little they were given to work with, but they also seem to be detached from the story, making it difficult to feel any connection to their characters. If you’re looking for a new take on the animal lead film genre then regretfully you will have to keep looking because this is not the one.