Netflix has been gradually getting better with their movies, at least I would like to think, with First Match, Calibre & White Fang being great to watch. For this week in Netflix movie reviews, we’ve got a Divergent star on the family post-apocalyptic road trip. let’s see How It Ends, from the director who is doing a Jacob’s Latter remake. Then, there’s another wolf tale, but this time, its in Spanish. The Skin of the Wolf is what we’ve got afterwards. On-wards to movie reviews!
How It Ends (Directed By David M. Rosenthal)
Will (played by Theo James) is a lawyer who had just impregnated his girlfriend Sam (played by Kat Graham) before marrying her. So, he plans on fixing that by traveling from Seattle to Chicago so he can pay Sam’s parents a visit and gain their blessing. Of course, it’s not easy when the father is a grumpy old war veteran named Tom (played by Forest Whitaker) says no, putting Will in a tough position.
Almost right after that, the Apocalypse happens, as nothing was built up to this moment. Will hears a creature noise while he’s on the phone with Sam and loses connection. With the airport on lock down and Tom getting worried about his daughter’s safety, they must travel back by car, while avoiding crazy people and deadly weather.
Now, I saw the reception on this. Audiences, who usually love everything, are panning this movie. The critics of course aren’t liking this one either, but when you’ve got the audience turning on the film as well, then something must be up. It doesn’t help that right off the bat, Will is committing adultery and her girlfriend is okay with it. Plus, when the apocalypse starts to happen, Theo James does not sound that worried about his love interest.
The acting on this movie is laughably horrible, having me wondering if I’m watching an Adult Swim sketch. Forest Whitaker does his best to work with the script and there’s a caring father character later on who does sell his situation with conviction, but neither of them are able to save the horrible dialogue and ridiculous action, padded with moments of nothing that drags the film to be longer than necessary.
Though, when you get right down to stupid, How It Ends is entertaining at times for the wrong reasons. Like many films out there that feel like being angry and depressing immediately makes for a great story, you can add this one for trying to feel aggressive and adding the theme of trust, except its hard to buy any of it.
For example, a lady walks up to Will, asking for sex. Will would politely reject, but then a group of gangsters appear to accuse him of wanting to rape her as they act like cartoon thugs. Immediately, they want to murder Will, only to be stopped by Tom, who might as well be a black Liam Nieeson for the stunts he pulls. We are supposed to take this whole scene seriously as apart of this dark, scary world that I must remind, happens out of nowhere.
Everyone loves to drop that Fbomb frequently. There’s a character later on who is played by Grace Dove and she tags along these two, breathing the Fbomb through her lines. Pretty much, the strongest aspect to this movie and what prevents this from being one of the worst films of 2018 is that this is on Netflix and there isn’t an extra layer of suck embedded. It’s so full of itself that the intended dark storytelling becomes a silly comedy, spaced between very dull moments.
If this was in the theater, I would lose my mind watching this, especially when Will finally reaches Sam, there’s still half-hour left, devoted to finding out the source behind the sudden apocalypse, which goes no where.
As something to play in the background and laugh at when the plot picks up its speed, How It Ends is “Decent” fun, just for how crazy it decides to get as it goes on, but it’s not entertaining enough to where I’d want to watch this again, nor is it so bad that I’ll remember it in passing.
The Skin Of The Wolf (Directed By Samuel Fuentes)
We’ve got a lonely animal trapper living on an abandon mountain in the harsh world of 1920s northern Spain. Martinon (played by Mario Cases) feels as if his life might be better if he’d get himself a wife, rather paying a father for one and forcing the marriage. Is it possible though that Martinon and his purchased spouse Adela (played by Irene Escolar) gain a real romantic relationship?
First of all, I love the work these modern foreign films put into the practical production value on their films. Unlike How It Ends, you really do see this as a harsh world of survival, thanks to how rough and dirty everything looks. Civilians are having to survive the cold weather by making their cloths out of dead animal fur if they don’t make it through the industrial side of living.
I love the music too, which accompanies the tone and environment of this world. My biggest issue, which becomes a huge issue, is how the film is structured. I’m not one who minds a steady pacing if everything still comes right back down to the story or can lead to something interesting. Filming our characters do their daily chores in complete steps gets old after a bit.
You can film someone washing the dishes or cleaning clothing to maybe show what it was like to compete those tasks back then, but then cut so where we can jump into the story, getting to know the characters more and be invested with this harsh situation. When you spend more time on their daily activities more than dialogue, it’s hard to get invested in the dark situations we have here.
Instead, it gets dull after a while, having to repeat scenes that were already covered in-between the writing. Martinon and Adela’s relationship changes without exploring how we got to that point and while the performances are great, the development of these characters aren’t.
The movie does not know how to pace itself and plan out its near-2 hour story. I mean this has all the elements to be a film that makes a statement against harassment, but the direction behind this makes this more of those pretentious art films that try to wow you on how good the movie looks, except you can see there’s potential here for something powerful and relevant. Instead, Adela is nothing more of an object, which does not fair well for today’s society.
As it stands, The Skin of The Wolf is something “Decent” to admire as a background film. This is not something you will want to sit down and see all the way through, but play while you are in the back doing things, enjoying the view every now and then (minus the uncomfortable sex scenes which could have been effective had the direction been better).
f you were to watch it once, their might not be an incentive to come back for seconds.