Wolf ★★½

“What else can you do without your hands?”

The great thing with Mike Nichols’ Wolf is that it takes a fresh spin on the werewolf-concept. Placing it in modern time, in a realistic world and turning it into an inner battle for Mr. Randall (Jack Nicholson) rather than to make it a straight-out horror flick leaves for a lot of neat ideas. The not-so-great thing with Mike Nichol’s Wolf is that it takes a fresh spin on the werewolf-concept and doesn’t do much more than that.

Underneath, it’s a terribly ordinary story and it’s clear that the writers put all into Nicholson’s transformation and battle, because every other character and relation hasn’t been prioritized and this makes it hard to really care. The Jekyl and Hyde-dynamics to Randall’s life is never unique and for as much as the film tries to keep its content realistic (well, as realistic as possible at least) some of that illusion is shattered when they decide to throw in obvious supernatural elements such as a magic amulet.

As expected, Nicholson is good here, but that’s kind of also a problem – he’s just as you expect. No actor in Wolf does anything that ever really stick out but on the other hand, with a cast consisting of Nicholson, Michelle Pfeifer and James Spader – it’s always impressive and watchable. All of them really work and the pace of the film is splendid, gradually increasing everything while keeping it constantly interesting with its realist point of view.

Wolf doesn’t have enough special to make me howl in the night, but its neat ideas is still enough of a bite to leave a memorable mark when the night is over.

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