Though Alpha and Omega screenwriters Chris Denk and Steve Moore often confuse lazy, wispy, and knowingly limited storytelling with sweet low-key cartoon melodrama, and the film features some pretty cheap-looking, unimaginative animation, this is still a holistically passable cine-experience. It’s telling that the film’s leading man—or wolf in this case, as the film follows the budding romance of two young cubs from opposite sides of the lupine social hierarchy—is voiced by Justin Long, the current go-to actor for awkward but well-meaning young protagonists in romantic comedies. His over-extended twitchy act fits perfectly with Alpha and Omega’s plot of two wolves (Long and Hayden Panetierre) who fall in love as they find their way back home after being abducted and relocated to a preserve in Idaho. Denk and Moore frequently reveal that the romance between our young wolves is couched within such a formulaic story not because the devil’s in the details, but because they’re not creative enough to provide a solid plot or dialogue. Several gags are run into the ground during pivotal scenes and recurring stock characters—like a French Canadian goose (Larry Miller) that golfs and Panetierre’s overprotective mother (Vicki Lewis), who constantly threatens to rip the throat out of anyone that mistreats her daughter—overstay their welcome. Luckily, a number of jokes stick, like the one about a human trucker and librarian that meet at a book store that also sells beer, and directors Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck prove that they have a sufficient sense of space when it counts most (i.e. aerial shots of waterfalls, treetops, and projectile objects). But still, Alpha and Omega proves that sometimes more is more and less is less for a reason.
- 95 min
- Anthony Bell, Ben Gluck
- Chris Denk, Steve Moore
- Justin Long, Hayden Panetierre, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper, Christina Ricci, Larry Miller, Vicki Lewis
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