So last night, I went to my housemate's birthday drinks at a bar/restaurant in the city. Well...*I* would call it the city. According to Canberra, it's in a different suburb to the city, even though it's a five minute walk from the dead centre of town. Anynobodygivesashit, I drank a pint of pear cider in about 15 minutes on an empty stomach and had a very nutritious dinner of beer battered steak fries with tomato relish and sour cream, and bruschetta. What's that? Oh, my plan to lose 2 kilos by my birthday is going swimmingly, thanks for asking.
So after that very healthy dinner, I wandered into town to meet up with Laura for the movie. I'd pretty much abandoned all hope for the movie when I read that it was directed by Catherine Hardwicke of
So the basic story is that
Their village is plagued by a werewolf, which for years has been kept placated by offerings of livestock every full moon. But one night, it kills Valerie's older sister. The men of the village hunt the wolf to its cave in the mountains, where Henry's father is killed. They return home with the head of the wolf on a pike, only to have evil beasties hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) turn up and be all "Dudes, that's not a werewolf. That's just a regular wolf. And I'd totally know, cos my
Anyway, the wolf eventually leaves when some of
At some point in there, her grandmother (Julie Christie), who lives in the woods outside the village, has dreadlocks and totally looks like she's escaped from a hippy commune in California presents her with a red cloak (which, as always, makes no sense to me because in medieval times, only prostitutes wore red - "Here, dear. Isn't it pretty? It'll make you look like a whore") as an early wedding present. Here's Hippy Granny:
Blah blah, the wolf turns up and kills more people. The wolf also bites off Gary Oldman's hand and one of his own soldiers is all "Ha ha, you got bitten by the wolf. Time to die, douchebag." (I totally expected him to skip around singing "I killed Sirius Black" when he did) The wolf tries to get to Valerie by stepping onto consecrated ground and burns his paw before running off cos the sun's rising. So now she's on the look out for someone with a burnt hand. Then she has a dream with the whole "Grandmother, what big teeth you have" thing in it, and runs off to her grandmother's house because *clearly* that means her grandmother's in danger. On the way there, she runs into Peter, who's been missing since the second wolf attack. He's got a glove on and asks her to run away with him, and she's all "OMG, YOU'RE THE WOLF" and stabs him.
She gets to her grandmother's house, and her dad (played by Billy Burke of Twishite fame) is there. He's all "Oh, hey, kid. I'm the werewolf and I killed your grandma. And your sister. And half the village. Whoops!" He then does the stereotypical explain-my-motives thing that movie villains ALWAYS do. This gives Peter (stab wound and all) enough time to turn up and threaten him with an axe. Cos he's a woodcutter, so he carries an axe everywhere. Of course...
But of course, that can't possibly be the end. No, no. The dad somehow bit Peter, so now he's going to be a werewolf. But instead of killing himself to protect the village from the curse, he's all "I'm going to go away for a while until I can control myself." and she's all "I'll wait for you." They cut the dad open and fill his body with rocks (which, ew) and dump it into the river. Peter leaves and Valerie moves into her grandmother's creepy house in the woods to wait for him to come back. And Henry decides to take over Gary Oldman's kill-the-evil-beasties squad. Cos you can TOTALLY trust guys who've shot you with a crossbow...
Ahem. So obviously, the plot is a trainwreck. And the script is awful. Cheesy lines abound throughout, and on several occasions, I went "OH COME ON!!" at the screen. It snows constantly, and yet Valerie wanders around in a thin cotton dress, occasionally with short sleeves. Unfortunately for you, this was the only picture of her wearing short sleeves that I could find:
The acting (with a couple of exceptions) was wooden. The final reveal on who the wolf is was anticlimactic because they'd done so many red herrings with so many different characters (except that one) that I was sick of the whole thing. And the CGI for the wolf is pretty terrible. The only redeeming feature was, as always, Gary Oldman, who's not afraid to go "You know what? This is a piece of shit. But I'm gonna embrace the fact that it's really awful and just roll with it!" Basically, I spent most of the movie wishing that the wolf would eat the three main characters to save me from the torment. There were several moments where half the audience laughed and then simultaneously realised that they were serious. (Or Sirius, depending who was on screen...) Plus, I never really understood why the entire population of the village didn't just go "Okay, I'm sick of losing all my best livestock to a wolf. Let's get the hell out of this dump." They had a budget (apparently) of $42,000,000. God only knows where it went...
I know some people liked it. There are a bunch of reviews on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes going "I don't get why people think it's rubbish, I thought it was AMAZEBALLS". But I've got no fucking clue what movie they were watching. I give it 2/10. And one of those is because of Gary Oldman... Basically (at the end of this thesis length post)? Save your money and rent it when it's a weekly release...