Movie Review 2008 #70: Wolf

A slightly different werewolf movie from the 90’s starring Michelle Pfeiffer, James Spader, Christopher Plummer, and in a meaty starring role, Jack Nicholson.

“I’m just marking my territory”
While I might slightly prefer vampires to werewolves, done right, werewolves can be a lot of fun in a cinematic sense. Wolf gives us a somewhat different story, setting it in the modern day, and making the focus of the action the relationships and effects that a werewolf bite has on the main character, Jack Randall, a washed up book editor (Nicholson).
Randall is being pushed out of a job, from above (Plummer) and below (Spader). With his job in a shambles, a werewolf bite is exactly what Randall needs to get some new life. He’s drawn to Plummer’s daughter (Pfeiffer) and pursues a relationship with her. He begins to fight back for his position and the people in the book business he cares about. All of this, even as he comes to terms and struggles against what has happened to him…
While the set up for the denouement with a fight between Spader and Nicholson seems contrived and out of tone with the rest of the movie, even with that slippage, the characters make this movie work, not the special effects of werewolf transformations.