The short was produced by JEM Film Productions for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and it never got a real VHS or any DVD release although a possibly bootlegged VHS print is known to exist. See more »
A nice if a bit over the top Canadian short family drama about a rancher dad, his city slicker son and a troublesome white wolf
Michael Ironside is usually great in anything he does (even when the project itself is just terrible) and this short Canadian family drama about a small-time hard-working US(?) rancher who's trying to get his computer-loving city slicker son to stop being so self-centered and give him a hand for once so they can hunt down a wolf that's been praying on their livestock is no exception.
Ironside is perfect as Don, the intense, experienced rancher and no nonsense but still loving dad. Unfortunately, the guy who's playing his college-aged kid Tim... well, not so much. He also appeared in a Friday the 13th movie and his pretty uneven and sometimes over the top acting definitely fits better there.
The story begins like a typical family drama about a son and dad who argue a lot but end up bonding after spending some time together and understanding each other's outlook on life better, but then the moment comes when Don asks Tim to shoot and kill the beautiful white wolf that's been preying on their cows. That's when Tim decides to protect the wolf in a way PETA would be proud of and stand up to his, up to this point, quite reasonable father. The main theme of the movie shifts at this point and the movie goes in a somewhat (un)predictable and a bit silly and over the top direction.
Now, it's not that there's something wrong with the morality play that ensues, it's just that it doesn't really gel all that well with the way the first half of the movie was executed. The fact that Tim comes off as somewhat annoying due to poor characterization (or acting) doesn't help either.
After a bit of tragedy, the story ends in a somewhat cheerful way and the questionable lesson is learned... I guess.
The movie is shot really well and makes the beautiful locations feel homey. This is the way nostalgic people remember the 80s.
The side characters are barely in the movie and serve primarily to set up the plot. Only Don's loving wife and Tim's worried mom Mary gets a slightly bigger role than that.
Overall the movie is fun for what it is, short enough to finish it even if you don't like it, and can be seen by almost anyone (although, there is a somewhat gory short scene in which Don and Tim find a dead cow that's been slaughtered by an animal and in another scene Tim gets to drink a beer with his dad but Tim is basically an adult so it doesn't feel wrong).
If you love Mr. Ironside, see the movie if you get a chance and the same goes for those who like (family) movies about cowboys/ranchers or environmentalism/animal rights or just like watching pretty western locations of the more grassy kind.
The movie was made for Canadian CBC and unfortunately only exists in VHS format but it does occasionally pop up online or on Youtube.
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