A bit of a drama and a thriller with some martial arts mixed in – Brotherhood of the Wolf is a pretty unique film that comes from France starring martial arts fan favorite Mark Dacascos in a supporting role as Mani.
The movie is set in France back in the 1700’s during the French Revolution. In a small town there’s a myth of a beast that has been killing people and is immensely powerful. This has the townsfolk believing there’s some supernatural power behind the beast.
When a man named Gregoire (Samuel Le Bihan) and Mani (Mark Dacascos) arrive in town to investiage the killings, there are talks of a large hunt to kill the beast and both men take place. Both Gregoire and Mani are receiving a lot of attention and seem to be key players in this hunt, as they learn bit by bit more about this ‘beast’.
At the same time Gregoire has his eyes set on a young woman there but is met with some resistance by her parents and brother. So while many personal issues seem to come to the surface, we see both Gregoire and Mani working with some of the locals to find not only the beast, but the man controlling the beast – since both men beleive there is nothing supernatural about it’s existence.
This movie is one of those films that you watch without any real idea of how things will turn out, leaving you to watch the story unfold with many surprise twists. It’s a decent length film (at 2 hours 20 mins) but at no time does it seem to get particularly boring.
More interesting is how they discover piece by piece more about the beast before eventually going after who controls it, as the whole movie has a very eerie feel to it. But on top of all this the personal issues faced by Gregoire with Marianne (the woman he’s chasing) becoming interesting and tense also. This naturally all manages to tie in together to some degree, and makes things that bit more intriguing.
Whilst this movie has some cool action, the story is the real winner and dominates most of the movie (as it should any good drama/thriller), but what we do get is pretty sharp.
The Action & Martial Arts
When you first see Mark Dacascos hop off his horse and fight off a group of guys, you know you can expect at least some quality fights in this film, and it just delivers enough to keep most martial arts fans satisfied.
While this movie doesn’t feel like a martial arts action flick, there are a handful of fights, especially those with Mark Dacascos which show off some cool movements including some nice Capoeira style kicks and the other fancy acrobatic movements Mark is good at delivering. Even Samuel Le Bihan’s fight scenes are well done and show off some nice movements.
The fights have a nice enough feel and pace, and are visually exciting to watch but it definitely doesn’t stand out as the film’s main quality. Instead the action balances and mixes flawlessly with the story making it less of an action junkie film and a good all rounder.
Nice. It’s a good solid movie for any movie goer and not bad for martial arts fans – but don’t expect the the type of hyped up fights you see in most mainstream martial arts films. Check it out for sure though!
On Blu Ray –
Region B (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Europe etc)
Brotherhood of the Wolf [Blu-ray]
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Brotherhood of the Wolf
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Brotherhood of the Wolf [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Brotherhood of the Wolf