The Wolf and the Lion

The nothing special truth about cats and dogs.

When you begin to watch “The Wolf and the Lion,” you start to see some cute lion and wolf cubs. I’m not made of stone, so I was able to show some affection for them. But humans are not animal cubs, in fact, man is the most dangerous animal. They can either hunt them or experiment on them or maybe both, and that’s cruel.

The animals are the best thing about this movie, while most of the humans are filled with one lousy dialogue after another. It’s labeled as a family film, so I can probably see why, but even family movies know how to win critics and audiences alike. “Fly Away Home,” “Dr. Dolittle” with Eddie Murphy (to be distinctive), “Free Willy,” “The Black Stallion,” and “The One and Only Ivan” are examples of how to make us love both the humans and animals/mammals.” “The Wolf and the Lion” isn’t one of them.

Molly Kunz, who played Collin Farrell’s campaign manager in “Widows,” is cast here as Alma, a music student from New York, who comes back to a cabin on a private island, after the death of her last remaining relative-her grandfather. Her godfather Joe (Graham Greene) informs her that her grandfather made a new friend-a snow wolf, who isn’t tamed, but isn’t dangerous.

And then, one night during a storm, a plane carrying a baby tiger crash lands by the cabin, and it ends up in Alma’s care. The wolf also has a little cub to look after as well, so Alma has three hands full at this point. She decides to care for them until her music exam approaches.

The lion cub is a fugitive from an abusive circus, while scientists (Charlie Carrick and Derek Johns) capture the mother wolf as a specimen for their habitat. Alma turns down the opportunity to join the Los Angeles Philharmonic, because it wasn’t really her passion, and that she knows other people expected it from her. So, she returns to the cabin to raise the lion cub and the wolf cub. She names the lion Dreamer, and the wolf Mozart.

Then when Alma gets knocked out in a cheesy way, Joe gets ahold of the authorities, and the wolf ends up in the habitat, while the lion is taken back to the circus. The wolf runs with the pack, while the lion has to deal with the abusive owner (Evan Buliung) and be serenaded by his nicer son (Rhys Slack).

And then, it basically becomes “Milo and Otis” when the wolf frees the lion, and they escape in the woods.

Here’s an example of the corny dialogue:

Joe: “You’re acting like a spoiled child!”

Alma: “You’re acting like a stupid adult!

Joe: “Touche.”

Or how about another scene when a little girl begs her mother to let her stop on the private island to pick some flowers?

The mother says: “It’s a private island. We can’t be here.”

The girl says: “Please…..”

And then the mother comes around. It’s too arbitrary for me to listen and unnecessary to watch.

I think you get the point. “The Wolf and the Lion” is a nothing special film about nothing special people caring about or dealing with special animals. In fact, it feels more like a comedy than a drama. Greene, Carrick, and Slack are the only humans I actually liked for their well-meaning natures, but why do they have to deal with the same situations with formulaic outcomes? And why would anyone think that we would be interested in them dealing with these cliches?

I can’t answer my own questions for sure, but the movie is affectionate about the wolf and the lion, but it isn’t as smart as it wants to be. They’re just treated like shadow characters, but at the very least, the wolf and the lion both seem to have a fun time shopping at a local grocery store and going for a job afterwards. It promises you cute animals, but not much else.

Rating: 2 out of 4.


Categories: Drama, Family

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