Writer: Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt (Screenplay) Albert Hughes (Story)
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Johannes Haukur Johannesson, Marcin Kowalczyk, Jens Hulten, Natassia Malthe, Spencer Bogaert
Plot: In the prehistoric past, a young man struggles to return home after being separated from his tribe during a buffalo hunt. He finds a similarly lost wolf companion and starts a friendship that would change humanity.
Tagline – Leaders are born from survival.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Enjoyable Adventure
Story: Alpha starts as we meet Keda (Smit-McPhee) a young man and member of a prehistoric tribe, this is his chance to go on the hunt with the chief and his father Tau (Johannesson) to complete his path to manhood in the tribe, along with the other recruits, the week doesn’t end well for the young man when he becomes separated from his tribe.
Keda must find his tribe while dealing with the perils of the wilderness including the wolves, one of which he rescues making an unlikely friendship in the harsh world he is travelling through.
Thoughts on Alpha
Characters – Keda is the young man, the son of the chief of his tribe, he must go on his first hunt which only leaves him alone in the world. he must earn fast how to survive this environment with his caring nature showing with a wounded wolf that he nurses back to help. Alpha is the wolf that was hunting Keda, only to get wounded, she sticks around after being nursed back to health which brings her a new connection, one with a human. The two remain loyal to each other through the bitter winter which will test both of them. Tau is the chief of the tribe and father to Keda, he wants his son to follow in his footsteps showing strength to the rest of the tribe and wisdom to his son.
Performances – Kodi Smit-McPhee is fantastic in the leading role, he has to go through such a physical performance while balancing the emotion impact of believing he could be alone in the world. he does have to deal with most of the work in this film and the connect he has with the wolf. The supporting cast is good with what they need to do without having to do as much as Kodi.
Story – The story follows one young man that gets separated from his tribe and must figure out how to get home, making a new friend along the way, a wolf. This does follow the survival story very clearly and the bond between man and animal starts coming through during the film. even with the formulaic storyline you are kept on edge through out as we want to see if Keda and Alpha can make it home. The connection between the two makes us see how humans and wolfs became one together. The simple story is what keeps us happy.
Adventure/Family – The adventure takes Keda who is part of the tribe through the prehistoric world with threats that a solo man would be struggling to survive through. This does have moments that would be slightly too dark for the younger family audience.
Settings – The world created is beautiful, we have the open plains to the snow filled background each condition becomes more difficult as we go on the adventure.
Special Effects – The effects are strong for the most part, we do have moments that are not good but for the scale of the film should be applauded for the world we see.
Final Thoughts – This is a visual treat for the audience with a connection between man and dog that is fantastic to see, the story might be generic but it works well.
Overall: Entertaining adventure