He was doomed to die, but managed to survive, and now his mission is to revenge for the annihilation of his tribe. He is the great warrior who calls himself Volkodav, and is the last man ... See full summary »
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He was doomed to die, but managed to survive, and now his mission is to revenge for the annihilation of his tribe. He is the great warrior who calls himself Volkodav, and is the last man from the tribe of Serie Psi (Grey Hounds). After escaping certain death, Volkodaw (accompanied by Neletuchaya Mysh) is on a mission to kill Ludoed who is responsible to what happened to Serie Psi. Written by
I've just seen this glorious epic at a Kiev cinema and am amazed at how Russian cinema can release such a superb fantasy film. This is an adaptation of the first Volkodav fantasy novel by Maria Semyonova that draws on a wide range of Slavic mythology.
Alexander Bukharov is well cast as the hero, the "wolfhound" fighting the evil "wolf", with a strong supporting cast that relies on impact more than the hairstyles, tooth-whitener and revealing loincloths of Hollywood. This is not a sentimental film, but accepts the violence and closeness-to-nature of tribal life, reminiscent of the Dark Ages. The film's stark, realistic feel reminded me of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto, that emotionally draws many parallels.
Bukharov would be an ideal King Arthur or King Alfred - it's a pity that his nationality will probably write off any Hollywood offers. The obvious comparison is to Lord of the Rings, but the movie manages to keep originality in many plot strands, effects and characterization's.
Its landscapes are relatively muted, having been filmed in Slovakia rather than New Zealand, but its effects and monsters are winners over Hollywood, by maintaining suspense and keeping many nasties just out of vision. By having the main effects based on primal forces of nature, rather than a new-generation iteration of Predator or Alien, it avoids the typical clichés that most fantasy films suffer from.
I hope this gets a wide release in Europe and the USA - it certainly deserves it.
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