If you crave an over-the-top historical kung fu-fantasy epic with a good dose of voluptuous nudity, bravura machismo, and passions so intense they verge on ridiculous, then Brotherhood of the Wolf
is for you. Based (loosely) on an 18th-century legend, this French film follows a hunky scientist (Samuel Le Bihan) and his Iroquois sidekick/spiritual partner (Mark Dacascos) as they pursue a monstrous wolf ravaging the French countryside. Along the way Le Bihan gets entwined with a beautiful noblewoman (Emilie Dequenne) and a gorgeous prostitute (Monica Belluci) with secrets to tell. The plot grows more and more incomprehensible, but the mix of torrid emotions, outrageous action sequences, and lurid titillation is really what the movie is about. Ignore the highbrow philosophising and confused political intrigue; just enjoy the sensual images.--Bret Fetzer
On the DVD: Brotherhood of the Wolf is a film which revels in excess, yet the extra features on the disc are surprisingly sparse. The DVD boasts a programme on the legend of the Beast of the Gevaudan, as well as the original theatrical trailer, which was obviously geared towards an American audience--all action, no (French) dialogue. Unfortunately, though the DVD gives the viewer the option of watching the film in French (with English subtitles) or dubbed in English, only the dubbed version has Dolby 5.1 sound. Viewers who want to watch this film in its original language are forced to settle for 2.0. --Rob Burrow
France, 1766. Sent by the King to investigate a number of attacks by a terrifying wolf-like beast in Gévaudan, scientist and adventurer Grégoire de Fronsac and his martial-arts-trained Iroquois sidekick Mani arrive to find a community pregnant with many secrets. As the beast continues to ravage the area, Grégoire and Mani's investigations reveal that it is in the control of a sinister local religious cult. But can they catch it before it claims any more lives?