In the Lair of the Wolves of the Christian Gudegast | Review preview


Published on Apr 04, 2018


It's always nice when the low expectations are turned upside down, becoming a pleasant surprise, and one of the things In the Lair of the Wolves manages to do is to pleasantly surprise.

The alarm bells were there: Gerard Butler (in recent years, his name has always gone hand-in-hand with production almost totally bankrupt), in the presence of 50 Cent, from the trailer loudmouth to the risky choice to entrust the project to a new director (Gudegast sceneggiò the thriller vengeful Solver Felix Gary Grey with Vin Diesel in 2003, after which the other note in his curriculum, the ugly Attack to the Power 2, still in the stage of script: but it is thanks to the film by Babak Najafi, who would have known Butler), yet ultimately In the Lair of the Wolves proves to be much more than what was permissible to think that it was, and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment, Jon Amiel, those dannatissimi alarm bells manages to avoid them all, one after the other. And even with a certain elegance.

Keeping in mind (and in the viewfinder) the cinema programme of Michael Mann (Heat is clearly the point of reference for Gudegast) In the Lair of the Wolves tells a simple story of cops and robbers, the robbery of the wicked and of the countermeasures of the good to prevent the robbery, of planning, but above all borders thin to separate the protagonists, the bad guys told how to be good, the good is described highlighting the numerous flaws).

Gerard Butler and Pablo Schreiber (he is, however, that it is always a synonym of quality) are to the command, respectively, of the special unit of the Los Angeles police and a group of bank robbers that the first must catch: the film follows the two characters step by step, playing on the anticipation of the inevitable final confrontation (a very beautiful scene that part from the mould of the one set at the exit to the mexican border view in Hitman, accumulating the suspense, as did Villeneuve, but then taking a different direction and decline that matter to the form of the action of the pure).

The quality of the film, as said, unexpected on the eve, is that to get to that final confrontation, there is scapicolla at breakneck speed with the action forced, but along the route you stop often to catch his breath, to think: we expect within the everyday life of the characters, we discover their lives, listen to their plans and the first hour is very relaxed, the second is occupied by the robbery itself and there will be no dead time), all the while they play with stereotypes and clichés, the classics of the genre, but with extreme awareness and, above all, without being ashamed of it.

Butler here finally returns perfect as he was perfect in the clothes the spartans of king Leonidas of 300, and in the part of “Big Nick” O'brien, this cop foul-mouthed, violent, dangerous, that stinks worse than the criminals that you must hunt down, and summarizes that same cinematic sense that he had in the movie directed by Zack Snyder and that he rarely achieved in the following (only in RocknRolla Ritchie, but Gerard Butler has to have the beard to be Gerard Butler to one hundred percent).

Finally, unlike the symbolism in the abstract that is the foundation of the films of Michael Mann, here the characters are all human, not high-emblems or representations of the qualities and defects of the human race. For this reason, the film is a winner: because he has a soul raw and rough, and never aims for transcendence, but remains firmly anchored to the ground, asphalt, or where to go to rest the shells of the bullets, where cola sweat and where drips the blood.

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