This movie starts well, lags in the middle, tries to finish strong, but comes up a little short. We are introduced to our protagonists early in the movie. In fact the movie poster would probably come from this first scene. Fronsac and Mani are blood brothers after saving each other in America. Mani is an Iroquoi Indian that seems to have picked up several forms of martial arts. Unlike Crouching Tiger that starts the movie with about 20 minutes of drama before the first fight scene, Mani and Fronsac come across some "bad" guys who need their butt kicked. Mani obliges. The scenes are pretty good. But this scene launches two problems with the film - the soundtrack is way over done. We hear Mani's boot squish through the mud. We hear every kick, and at times, I was wondering if the directors weren't actually poking fun, but as the soundtrack booms throughout the movie, I think they are just enamored with themselves. We also begin the first of far too many hybrid, Matrix-like multi camera angles, combine with super slow mo cameras. There are so many scenes where we watch the water droplets splatter slowly across the screen.
Mani and Fronsac arrive at their destination - Gevaudan province. They are here to document the beast that torments this town. Apparently killing woman and children indiscriminantly. The beast is rumored to be a super wolf-like creature. The town's aristocracy, elders, and church leaders are hoping to rid themselves of this horrible creature.
The journey to uncover this beast also uncovers a complicated plot that drags through the middle of the movie. There are odd relationships unveiled, Mani's secret medicine man capabilities, and many political maneuverings.
As we enter the final two acts, most of the secrets have been exposed. You are left to sit back and wait for the movie to come together. The last few scenes reveal our narrator and his own fate.
The movie is well filmed. There are a lot of great shots. The movie is violent and I must mention again - loud. I found it too long. However, if you edited too much of the plot and removed some of the martial arts scenes, it would probably not be more than your average B slasher flick. This movie is subtitled.
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