Daughter of the Wolf is a new action-thriller film directed by David Hackl (Saw V) and written by Nika Agiashvlli. The movie follows a military veteran (Gina Carano) who, returning home after the death of her father, must set out on a quest to rescue her son from a ruthless gang leader (Richard Dreyfuss) holding him for ransom.
This film’s story has two parts to it, of which there is one that is clearly superior. The first is the straightforward revenge tale, focusing on the protagonist as she sets out on a quest to rescue her son from her kidnappers. Quite frankly, this part of the movie just isn’t interesting, especially when put up against the far more entertaining man-versus-wild storyline focusing on the gang and the protagonist’s son.
As a result of the story being so uneven, the film’s pacing feels extremely inconsistent. The frequent jumps between the two storylines do begin to get tiring at times, especially because the movie frequently cuts to the other storyline just as one begins to feel exciting. However, even if you can manage to make it through the constant back-and-forth, you will be left unsatisfied by an ending that feels sudden and much too early.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this film is that the action is so underwhelming. In fact, there simply isn’t enough action as a whole. With a former MMA star in the lead role, you would expect the movie to be action-packed from start to finish. Instead, there is much more intensity in the storyline that involves a seventy-one-year-old veteran actor. This film’s biggest sin isn’t that it is boring — it’s that it doesn’t take full advantage of the hand it was dealt.
The character development in the movie was lackluster as well. The protagonist isn’t made to be particularly sympathetic, but that is due to the fact that not enough is done to make us care about her or her story. Her son is a slightly more compelling character, but the film never convinces us that he is in legitimate danger. The antagonist is also extremely generic.
The acting — or more accurately, Richard Dreyfuss’s performance — is the movie’s biggest highlight. Dreyfuss hams it up in his role, playing the antagonist in an over-the-top and fun way. He seems to be the only person involved with the film that isn’t taking himself too seriously. Carano has never been able to make a great transition from the ring to the screen, and the rest of the supporting cast isn’t given any room to shine.
Additionally, the film was also mostly impressive on a technical level. There are a few CGI shots in which the movie (really) shows its budget, but otherwise, the film looks pretty good. Granted, the filmmakers did have the beautiful wintery scenery of British Columbia to utilize for shots, so it would have been majorly disappointing had the movie not at least looked nice.
Overall, Daughter of the Wolf fell flat on many levels. Apart from an enjoyably wacky turn from Richard Dreyfuss as the villain, this film doesn’t offer much to make it worth your time and money.
Daughter of the Wolf hits theaters and VOD on June 14.