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Brotherhood of the Wolf

A decent adventure thriller that boasts great costumes and terrific locations, and has a solid twist that I didn’t anticipate. In rural France of 1765, a beast is terrorizing the countryside. Our hero is Francon, a naturalist and minor war hero recently returned from the Americas with his Iriquois sidekick Mani. Sent to investigate the murders and bring the carcass of the beast back to Paris for the King, he meets a dull love interest and a number of more-interesting characters. Interestingly, the first half or so sticks reasonably true to the historical account of this inspired-by-life tale (or seems to, anyway), at which point the narrator says something like, “Of course, that’s not what really happened,” and the film changes tone quickly. It’s somewhat jarring, but not terrible. The beast is done quite well, and I noticed with pleasure that Henson’s Creature Shop had a hand in its creation. Be warned that there’s loads of martial arts, slo-mo combat, and some ridiculous weapons straight out of The Sword and the Sorcerer, so don’t expect a Merchant Ivory horror flick. Quite bloody as well. Not a favorite, but entertaining and a bit surprising. I was frequently distracted by how beautiful the French language sounded.