Antonin Baudry (director)
06 December 2019 (released)
07 December 2019
The submarine drama has been a staple sub-genre of the war movie and has many variations within that. The Wolf’s Call tries to bring something a bit more novel placing it in the future or an imagined present when world tensions are ever tightening.
Opening with a nerve shredding sequence in which we meet the main characters and Chanteraide (François Civil) who has pitch perfect hearing that enables him to identity the different models of subs. The sub is tracking another and Chanteraide can’t quite distinguish a sub only that shouldn’t be operating. Its tense as the viewer is taken through the sub’s protocols and how a crack crew operate under immense pressure. It’s a relief for the viewer as much as the crew when that is over.
And that’s where the problems start as the film can’t hope to come up to that level of intensity. The film drifts off into family and command pressures, a love interest and of course the familiar you-wouldn’t-believe-me-but-I-told-you-so from Chanteraide.
As it turns out world events and super sneaky terrorists have put the planet in peril. The subs are sent out to tackle the problem only to find that the terrorists really have been thinking about this which means high-command has a decision to take.
In all fairness these latter scenes are good just not on a par with the opening. Other difficulties are a poor, cliched and script from writer and director Antonin Baudry and the rather rigid, po-faced acting, which makes you wonder if they are actually aware of the silliness of it all.
What doesn’t help, overriding and permeating almost the entire film is a dirge of a soundtrack from Tomandandy which just stifles the whole thing and has the effect of dragging out the 116 minute running time.