Brotherhood of the Wolf

2001

Brotherhood of the Wolf

Critics Consensus

Brotherhood of the Wolf mixes its genres with little logic, but the end result is wildly entertaining.

73%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 121

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,037
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Brotherhood of the Wolf Photos

Movie Info

French legend has it that a creature known as the Beast of Gevaudan -- a huge, wolf-like monster -- was responsible for the violent deaths of over 100 persons in the mid-18th century, and this horror fantasy blends the lore of this fabled beast with a story of two men who set out to capture it. After a number of mutilated corpses begin appearing across the French countryside, naturalist Chevalier Gregoire de Fronsac (Samuel Le Bihan) is dispatched by the King to find and capture the animal responsible for the killings. Mani (Mark Dacascos), an Indian from Canada and an experienced hand in the wilds, is hired to assist de Fronsac in his work. Gregoire's assignment earns him the acquaintance of Marianne de Morangias (Emilie Dequenne), the lovely daughter of the idly wealthy Count de Morangias (Jean Yanne), but Gregoire receives a much chillier welcome from her brother Jean-Francois (Vincent Cassel), who, despite having lost an arm to a lion in Africa, is quite the huntsman himself. As Gregoire and Mani arrive in the village of Gevaudan, they're drawn to a local house of prostitution, where the animalistic allure and supernatural powers of Sylvia (Monica Bellucci) prove to have a profound effect on the naive Gregoire. Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided the special-effects expertise for the creation of the Beast of Gevaudan.

Cast

Samuel Le Bihan
as Gregoire de Fronsac
Vincent Cassel
as Jean-Francois de Morangias
Émilie Dequenne
as Marianne de Morangias
Jérémie Renier
as Thomas d'Apcher
Jean Yanne
as Le Comte de Morangias
Jacques Perrin
as Thomas d'Apcher (Old)
Johan Leysen
as Beauterne
Edith Scob
as Mme de Morangias
Hans Meyer
as Marquis d'Apcher
Marc Christian
as Old Thomas' Servant
Karin Kristom
as Bergere du Rocher
Philippe Nahon
as Jean Chastel
Jean-Paul Farré
as Pere Georges
Pierre Lavit
as Jacques
Eric Prat
as Capitaine Duhamel
Michel Puterflam
as Eveque de Mende
Jean-Loup Wolff
as Duc de Moncan
Frankye Pain
as La Tessier
Nicolas Vaude
as Maxime des Forets
Max Delor
as Old Noble
Christian Adam
as Old Noble
Nicky Naude
as La Felure
Karin Kristrom
as Bergere du Rocher
Gaelle Cohen
as La Loutre
Virginie Arnaud
as La Pintade
Charles Maquignon
as Valet at Maison Teissier
Franckie Pain
as La Teissier
Isabelle Le Nouvel
as Brunette Prostitute
Albane Fioretti
as Tessier Prostitute
Clarice Plasteig
as Tessier Prostitute
Edit Cassou
as Tessier Prostitute
Pierre Castagne
as Cecile's Father
Eric Laffitte
as Villager
Eric Delcourt
as Camp Beauterne's Help
Christelle Droy
as Bergere Dollines
Andres Fuentes
as Paysan Chaumiere
David Bogino
as Lanceur de Couteaux
Emmanuel Booz
as Officer Bucher
Pascal Laugier
as Machemort's Assistant
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News & Interviews for Brotherhood of the Wolf

Critic Reviews for Brotherhood of the Wolf

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (33)

  • A wonder of magpie postmodernism, a samurai adventure with Hong Kong action and a wry touch of American Western, all sewn into a free interpretation of Gallic history that also has its finger on the pulse of current social trends.

    Sep 30, 2002 | Full Review…
  • Instead of fluid acrobatics, we get hyperbolic montages of kicking feet, somersaulting torsos, and fists connecting with faces.

    Mar 22, 2002 | Full Review…

    David Edelstein

    Slate
    Top Critic
  • Fun movie, animatronic beast and all.

    Mar 13, 2002 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • Exhilirating viewing, at least while the feet are flying and the fangs are baring.

    Feb 8, 2002 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Utterly preposterous but so full of enthusiasm and flashy style that it's entertaining anyway.

    Feb 8, 2002 | Rating: 3/4
  • An extraordinary film, although not necessarily a good one.

    Feb 1, 2002

Audience Reviews for Brotherhood of the Wolf

  • Apr 13, 2013
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Feb 01, 2013
    Bizarre Asian style action in the middle of Louis XV's France, the Brotherhood of the Wold tries to be memorable but ultimately comes up short. It's one of those movies where you watch it, scratch your head and move on.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2012
    Brotherhood of the Wolf is an entertaining genre extravaganza that is 1 hour too long. Christophe Gans spent too much time on developing the characters and swashbuckling scenes. The real essence of the story was overlooked. But ti did achieve the goal of being violent, stylish and atmospheric. With little polish, Brotherhood of the wolves could have been much better.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2012
    So, are they taking on the original Doom Control or the Teen Titans in this film? Oh wait, I'm sorry, that's Brotherhood of Evil, though you can probably understand why I got mixed up, because with this film's English title and poster, - which features Samuel Le Bihan and Vincent Cassel in a dark and isolated setting while they wear costumes that scream either, "Cool period piece" or, "Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom!" - I couldn't tell whether this was a, well, as I said, cool period piece or something that Alan Moore would come up with. Of course, now that I've actually seen the film, I can honestly say that I might very well be even more lost on what it is exactly, et je ne suis pas simplement de dire que parce que mon français est un peu rouillé. Wikipedia's list of this film's story aspects include mystery, romance, erotica, politics, horror, adventure, martial arts, monster, thriller and fantasy, so, basically, it's a French wuxia film, only it's not quite that over-the-top. Still, nevertheless, this film mixes genres so much, for all I know, it actually did turn into a superhero film at some point, it's just that I can't quite remember, because so much stuff happens in this film, and in a different language no less, that I had to have gone through a bit of sensory overload at some point. Eh, whatever, this is still a pretty cool movie. Still, as good as this film is, it's not without its faults, even when it comes to the genre mixing. I joke about how this film is pretty much French wuxia, what with all of its going a bit over-the-top in its genre mixing, but really, this film rarely gets to be all that extreme with the mixing and playing up of its genres, keeping things relatively organic with each other and this film's world, yet the film does admittedly have those occasions in which it does slip up a bit with its genre manipulation, to where the genre mixtures feel off-putting and certain genre aspects - from the fantasy or mystery aspects to the over-the-top action aspects - feel a bit too farfetched, thus leaving you to momentarily fall out of the film, as it gets to be a bit too silly for its own good. As I said, the moments in which this film slips up with its genre control are thankfully not especially common, though they do occur and they do throw you off a bit when it comes to the story, and it doesn't help that this film isn't quite the most refreshing addition in whichever genre it falls under. There's only so much material left in this film's primary genres that hasn't been explored time and again, thus this film can either go the route of forging something original from its elaborate mixture of not so original stories into a single refreshing tale, or simply falling into the conventions of its genres, and while this film does have plenty of unique spots, it all too often succumbs to the tropes established by periods dramas, mystery thrillers and so on and so forth, which leaves the story's momentum to slow down a smidge, while what slows down the story's momentum even further is quite literally slowness. The Rotten Tomatoes consensus deems this film "wildly entertaining", though you have to remember that we're talking about film critics talking about a French period piece here, and that in those situations, the critics' words really do mean little, so sure enough, the film hits its dry spells and slows down, limping along rather disengagingly, if not rather dully, or even a touch boringly at times, and while those times in question are rare, with slowness in general being quite a bit less consistent than I expected, the film hits its particularly slow spots to make worse the blandness in the overall steady spots, of which, there are perhaps too many. Still, when you get down to it, one of, if not the biggest problem with this film is the simple fact that it is just too blasted long, clocking in at two-and-a-half hours, and making sure that you don't forget that by laying down exhaustingly excessive material, as well as quite a bit of repetition, which further slows down the momentum of the film and gives you time to see the film's fair deal of other faults. Sure, a film can't really be all that bad off if the worst thing you can say about it is that it's too long, so of course this film's flaws don't destroy it, yet the fact of the matter is that it does have flaws, and quite a few, for although many of the film's faults are in limited supply, they remain present and detrimental to the steam of the film. Still, when it's said... in French and done, the final product is still left kicking, hitting more often than not and ultimately leaving you to walk away satisfied by the film, as well as the final product's style. Sure, the film probably - nay - quite decidedly gets to be overstylized in its playing up a few gimmicky stylistic choices, to an off-putting point, - whether it be something as simple as gratuitous cross fades into another camera angle during a dialogue sequence, or the film's using slow-motion so blasted much that Zack Snyder would say, "Jeez man, speed it up a bit" - yet generally knows how to put its unique stylistic concepts to good use, manipulating nifty novelties - from the aforementioned yet exceptionally smooth slow-motion - especially for 2001, or rather, pre-Zack Snyder - to Dan Laustsen's (Dan the Dane; the French and Danish have to stick together) beautifully detailed and slick photography - with clever slickness that sparks some livliness in this film, and certainly the action sequences. Some action sequences bond style with substance and do a decent job of supplementing consequence in the story, and some action sequences are just here for fun, - as made obvious by the film's sometimes going a bit too over-the-top with its action - yet either way, when action comes into play, it's well worth the wait, as many are elaborately well-concieved, and all are remarkably well-staged and choreographed, as well as complimented by sharp technical value, or at least what once way sharp technical value. In 2001, we had "The Sorcerer's Stone", (or "The Philosopher's Stone", or whatever the Brits call it), "A.I. Artificial Intelligence", "Pearl Harbor" and, of course, "The Fellowship of the Ring", though it would appear as though no one told this film's technical technical team, as this film is still resorting to visual effects that have dated quite a bit by now, yet not so much that you can't recognize their general impressiveness for the time, for although certain effects fault in a fashion that I think even the people of the time would be thrown off by, most effects bond with this world adequately enough to cell their presence in it, particularly during the action. Still, there's not much quite like good old fashion traditional production designs, and sure enough, where the fair-for-their-time visual effects do a passable job of selling certain occasions, - say, of an action nature - the consistently sharp set and costume designs and art direction never cease to sell this era and world dashingly and with verisimilar intracacy (Oh, that back-to-back big-word move even made me dizzy). Technically and aesthetically striking, the film succeeds as spectacle, and as far as substance is concerned, screenwriters Christophe Gans and Stéphane Cabel craft a story that may be rather conventional, as well as a touch thematically uneven and occasionally over-the-top, yet remains generally sharp, being reasonably hefty in scope, with intriguing mystery and drama that engages, while going complimented by neat set pieces, reasonably colorful characterization and even some good dialogue (If the subtitles are reasonably accurate, of course; don't come crying to me if this is actually some Lifetime stuff, Frenchies). Gans and Cabel work past their writing faults to craft a generally engaging story and script, while Gans, as director, works past his storytelling and pacing faults to craft a generally compelling directorial performance, which not only delivers on sharp style, but also on a mostly effective atmosphere that graces thrills with tension, exposition with intrigue and the overall final product with enough compellingness to keep you going. If nothing else, Gans delivers on entertainment value, or at least for the most part, as this film's bite finds itself sometimes restrained by missteps in substance, while the overall final product hit its share of slow spots, - a few of which descend as low as dull - yet goes livened up enough by Gans' inspired direction to hit more than miss when it comes to entertainment, and with the strong story and style backing things up further, the film ultimately emerges through all of its faults as genuinely and consistently enjoyable, and ultimately well worth the time it still perhaps takes too much of. Overall, the story gets to be a bit inorganic in its genre mixing, - partially because a couple of genre aspects go overemphasized to a cheesily gimmicky point - while at least keeping consistent in its succumbing to some conventions, as well as quite a few slow spots, which particularly remind you of just how overlong this sometimes repetitious and often a bit excessive film is, thus leaving the final product's bite restrained, but not to where it doesn't ultimately back up its bark (Bite and bark; get it? Wolf?) through the sometimes too gratuitous yet primarily unique and dazzling style, - complemented by Dan Laustsen's lovely cinematography - excellent production designs and remarkable action sequences that liven up a structurally flawed yet mostly strong story, which goes complimented by Christophe Gans' and Stéphane Cabel's clever set piece, colorful characterization and sometimes sharp dialogue, as well as brought to life by Gans' inspired and generally entertaining atmosphere, thus leaving "Brotherhood of the Wolf" (Fit for a superhero film or not, that is actually one awesome title, even if "Le Pacte des loups" literally translates as "The Pact of the Wolves"; that "Brotherhood" makes all the difference) to stand as an engaging and rewarding period mystery, thriller, adventure piece, political study, horror piece, action piece, fantasy piece and drama... or whatever it is. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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