Jeff is ecstatic when he lands a job with one of New York's wealthiest financial firms. But the real secret to their success is an animal instinct that turns them into werewolves.Jeff is ecstatic when he lands a job with one of New York's wealthiest financial firms. But the real secret to their success is an animal instinct that turns them into werewolves.Jeff is ecstatic when he lands a job with one of New York's wealthiest financial firms. But the real secret to their success is an animal instinct that turns them into werewolves.
To build a good story you must first have a solid foundation. In this film there were two foundations, Jeff Allen and the Wolfe Brothers. With these two focal points firmly placed, DeCoteau attempts to build a frame and put siding on his story, but ultimately fails. After consistently unfunny "wolf" jokes, DeCoteau uses the simple technique of flashback to give us the (sorry for the pun) meat of the story. Those points that we missed because Allen was "blacking out" are shown in random, sporadic, and chaotic flash points. Most of them are hard to follow and show either too much or too little of the story. After the first set of these flashbacks, I just didn't care anymore. For this film to truly succeed, I think that it needed a linear story for the audience to follow instead of random crumbs littering the floor. This would have helped to build a stronger main character, a stronger relationship between Allen and Annabella (to explain the ending), and more sinister villains if you can call them that. The technique was OK for the first time, but only added to a film that was quickly loosing momentum.
So, we had a failing story, what else went wrong with this film? Outside of Eric Roberts, which seemed like he was in a world all his own, there just seemed to be unanswered questions littering the open spaces of the film. Annabella's ex-boyfriend's death seemed to be a fly in the pan, while her meeting with Dyson (Roberts) left me questioning her loyalty. Who, or what, were these men anyway? Were they cannibals or werewolves? I would assume by the title of this film, Wolves of Wall Street, that it would be a simple answer. I was wrong. Even with the monotonous "wolf" innuendo, I couldn't quite guess. I think the trouble that I was having was the full moon science. How could there have been a full moon every night? I know that it couldn't have been every night, but it felt like it during this film. Perhaps if DeCoteau would have focused a bit more on the science of this film (perhaps watch a couple werewolf films) and less on his male actors removing their shirts in unison revealing their heavily muscled bodies, we could have had a better film. But, I am no director, so what am I to say.
Speaking of the actors, Eric Roberts went above and beyond for this film. It impresses me that he puts so much emphasis on these little films, especially knowing whom his little sister is, and by placing this emphasis he carries this film on his shoulders. This isn't hard considering whom he is working with. The actor who plays Jeff Allen, Mr. William Gregory Lee, looked like he was acting his way through this film. You could literally see the Drama 101 seeping from his sweat, and it was embarrassing. The rest of the wolves sorry brokers were basically eye candy for the women whose husbands picked this film up after every copy of Mona Lisa Smile was gone. Nobody helped bring this film to the next level except for Mr. Roberts. The rest were pure dribble.
Finally, I would like to add that if I pay my money to see a horror film, I would actually like to see some horror. There was literally no blood in this film. You would think that with a box showing men with shadows of wolves walking down the street, blood would be second nature. This is not true. It isn't until the end that you actually see blood for the first time, and by then it is so quick (or you are so bored) that it doesn't matter. I needed some scares, some moments of genuine fright, some dare I say it horror for this film to work. Instead what I found were cheap actors, horrible editing with crappy flashbacks, and no actual horror as far as the eye can see.
Overall, it was a disappointment. While I was not expecting anything extraordinary, I would have thought that somebody (outside Eric Roberts) would have cared about this project, but I guess I was wrong. I needed more solidity with the story and a more focused director to help guide me through the piles of mess that the actors created. I needed help, but nobody listened to my yelp.
Grade: * out of *****
- Dec 8, 2004