Alpha (2018)



A tale of man’s best friend. A prehistoric tale. And man’s best friend is a wolf. And said man is actually a boy. I feel like this film couldn’t decide when to release this because I swear it was supposed to be out in January but kept getting moved back. It looked nice from the first trailer released. Looked like a film that was rich on vivid landscape cinematography. The second spoken word trailer didn’t look as good because it seemed more geared towards kids. Having seen it now, I thought it was thoroughly enjoyable. Its a simple tale but one that is shot and acted very well.

The film is about Keda, a member of a small Paleolithic tribe. One day while hunting bison, the inexperienced hunter Keda is thrown off a cliff. He survives just barely but is later attacked by a pack of wolves. Keda wounds one of them and soon tends to that wolf. The two form an unspoken bond, one that is tied together with both of their will to survive. Keda is aided by the wolf “Alpha” on his torrid journey to reunite with his family at any cost.

Starting off with the strongest point of the film, it must be mentioned that the vivid cinematography of the film is excellent. You see wonderful volcano eruptions, icy terrains, auroras, and the wonderful wild. Its a good film to watch on the big screen for that alone. Apart from this, the film is a standard pet companion story. The human and pet are at odds until they bond, then grow attached. Pet gets wounded along the way. Its designed to tug t your emotions but doesn’t do so much of that effectively in this film. The acting by Kodi Smit-McPhee is solid. He is a primitive young man but one that is wise, and one that is learning to become a man in the wild.

The film isn’t really anything that hasn’t been seen and done before. That doesn’t mean that this film wasn’t enjoyable though. I found the prehistoric backdrop and visual eye candy to be a good companion to a decent and simple story. Its nothing that stands out greatly in a summer season full of films but one that is good and has enough going for it to warrant its existence.


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