Monday, January 27, 2014

[Review] Big Bad Wolves

This Israeli thriller from writer/director duo Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado revolves around a vigilante cop, the father of brutally murdered daughter, and the alleged suspect.

Big Bad Wolves arrives during a wave of recent films that involve child abduction, strings of disturbing murders, and the lengths one goes to get revenge and answers. It shares thematic similarities to films like Prisoners, The Hunt, and even HBO's new series True Detective. However, it's void of the strongest cinematic merits of each, whether it's the chilling atmosphere of Prisoners, the haunting frustration conveyed The Hunt, or the sharp writing and exceptional performances in True Detective. Instead, it sort of serves as a counterpart and trades in the aforementioned elements for dark humor and exploitation, which works to its advantage and disadvantage, depending on its consistency.

This imbalance contributes to the film's rocky start. It's a clash of different tones, the pitch black humor doesn't quite land, and the story setups are clumsy and inexplicable. But the great news is that Big Bad Wolves gets better as it progresses, thanks to some clever plot turns (that would be too spoiler-ish to mention), and a more focused and contained narrative for the rest of the duration. Shades of the Coen Brothers and Quentin Tarantino work their way in, leading to the finale in an enthralling manner.

If you can stand the film's early fumbles, the scenes of grisly torture, and the boggling twists, everything is worth it in the end. Can't say the same for the characters.


No comments:

Post a Comment