Alpha (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Director: Albert Hughes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Duration: 96 minutes

Alpha (Blu-ray) – Movie Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: Visual experience
Bad: Not that eventful
User Score
7.5
(6 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 7.5/10 (6 votes cast)

When one thinks of all the blockbusters that have been released in 2018, we doubt many will add the movie Alpha to their list(s), or have even heard of the movie. Movies about a prehistoric past aren’t always that popular and are sometimes more visual projects, rather than movies to watch for the story they wish to tell. Alpha might be on the same list, but the overall topic does feel justified given the situation in time. We actually didn’t know what to expect when popping in the Blu-ray disc of this one, and while no expectations were there to be met, we were treated to a fairly okay-ish experience.

The movie starts off by showing a rite of passage in a prehistoric tribe to see who is ready to go with the hunting party. We see Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee), the son of the village leader Tau (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson), who makes an impressive tip of a spear, allowing him to make the cut for the next hunting party. It’s clear that hunting is no ordinary task during this period in time, as hunters could easily end up being eaten by the beasts they hunt. We see a hesitant Keda trying to do what his father bids him to do, but he isn’t prepared for the hardships of hunting, as well as the violence involved to kill the animals they so desperately need to eat to survive.

When the hunting party finds a wild group of buffalos, things head South quite fast, as Keda gets dragged down a cliff by one of the rampant animals. Even though his father would have loved to jump after his son to save him, the other tribesmen stop him from doing so, as they think Keda is already in the next world, living among the spirits. When Keda wakes up after his horrendous ordeal, he has to fend for himself and soon finds himself being hunted by wolves. In the scuffle he is able to wound one of the carnivores and live to see the sun rise once more. When trying to pick up his journey, he sees the wounded animal and wants to finish him off, but once again his weak stomach or simply his sense of compassion doesn’t allow him to finish the task. He then tries to bond with the animal, creating the story about a new kind of alpha trying to return to his pack, together with his newfound beastly ally.

The flow of the movie is quite slow, as it’s all about Keda surviving on his own, with his new ‘pet’, before the first snow begins to fall. There is not much information to go around, and with the lack of any proper dialogues for the most part of the movie, this film somewhat feels like a fairly decent art project. The CGI used in the movie is decent, but sometimes falters, making things feel a bit on the cheap side. Overall the plot works, the setting is right, but you’ll have a hard time keeping your focus as there isn’t much happening onscreen, safe for pretty visuals and a barebones storyline.

Acting performances are pretty good, with Kodi Smit-McPhee being on screen most of the time. The fairly young actor adapts well to his role as hunter-to-be and inexperienced survivor. The bond between wolf and man is properly portrayed, which isn’t an easy task when the actor flies solo most of the time, probably in front of a green screen, with the rest of the crew gawking at the one-man-show, at least when not in the presence of Chuck, the dog who plays Alpha in the movie. Other actors add to the mix, but don’t really stand out and feel like generic tribesmen who handle a ‘Que Sera Sera’ quite well when someone dies during their hunt.

The extras that are found on the Blu-ray edition of Alpha will not immediately blow you away, but they do add a few bits of information on how the movie was made. You’ll get to know Chuck, the dog that plays Alpha, you can find deleted scenes, a few making of sequences, and previews.

Conclusion

While this wouldn’t exactly be a Disney picture which could be called ‘A Boy and his Wolf’, Alpha does a decent job at portraying a story with a slim amount of story content. The movie feels like a proper visual experience, but certainly isn’t for everyone, especially those expecting a somewhat action-packed struggle for survival. This film is certainly a decent watch for those into survival movies with a few rough edges still present.

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Rating: 7.5/10 (6 votes cast)
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Alpha (Blu-ray) - Movie Review, 7.5 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
Ibuki
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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