Reviews: Alpha And Omega
Balto without the charisma or likeability
Alpha and Omega, among other things, is considered "The Lion King: Wolfaboo Version" and "The Reason A Far Better Movie Was Cancelled". Putting that aside, how does it stand on it's own merits? Not very well, actually. The plot is rather straight forward. Kate is an "alpha" (read: obsolete term for pack leader) and Humphrey is an "omega" (read: obsolete term for runt). As any self respecting Cliche Storm, were are treated to social stratification that real wolves don't have for the sake of creating a "forbidden" love. Both characters are shipped to Idaho to "repopulate" (we're expected to believe the world is made up of wolfaboos who will not consider the needs of local farmers and randomly send wolves to repopulate remote areas without rhyme or reason), and in their epic quest to return home... you can already guess what's going to happen. There is really no originality with this movie. Everything is basically the generic repopulation plot mxed with forbidden love clichés. What is funny are either jokes even five year olds will wince at or some attempts to be "edgy" by inserting sexual jokes that are not subtle, not funny and frankly a stupid. Our leads are a cardboard that is meant to be a storng independent woman but who in actuality is a heavily distilled version of Aleu from the first Balto sequel who is disgustingly weak and useless without her man (basically like Aleu, only that said man is her "love" interest rather than her father). The other lead is one of the stupidest, most repulsive fictional canines ever designed, who delights himself on the implications of raping the female lead. The rest of the movie is basically inserts of Balto character rip-pffs, down to the geese, which are Boris only tweenty times more stupid and selfish. Oh, and there's bears. Who lose to wolves. In a fight. Without outside aid.
Yep, it's pretty bad
Alpha and Omega is a film that apparently all wolf fans will like. That is completely false, as I myself am a wolf fan yet I still don't think this is any good. Alpha and Omega is a pretty big and blunt cliche "forbidden love" story from start to finish. I generally don't have a problem with cliched storylines as long as they bring a few interesting twists to the table or are at least entertaining, and Alpha and Omega failed to do either. Even then, if this movie's only problem was being a predictable cliche, I could still give it a bit of a pass; however this movie has several more problems aside from just that. First off, the character designs are absolutely hideous; I don't know who thought adding human hair and faces to these creatures was a good idea, but they sure have poor judgement, and as a result the "wolves" in this movie don't look much like wolves at all. Second of all is the two main leads, who are about as plain and cliched as the plot itself: Kate is an Alpha who doesn't have much of a personality aside from being a bit of a snarker and being supposedly "strong" but really, all she does to show how "strong" she is is do a bunch of fancy backflips that are honestly not that impressive. Humphrey is also pretty flat aside from being a bit of a dork. But that's it. To make matters worse, these two have absolutely zero character development: they clearly had a liking for each other at the start of the film so counting their falling in love as development is being too generous. I would also like to add that Kate's fakeout death is poorly executed, and coupled with the fact that it is obvious that she will get up, it's just not sad. Personally, I think the film would have been more enjoyable if the titular Alpha and Omega had been Garth and Lily rather than Kate and Humphrey. Garth and Lily just have better interactions with each other, and unlike Kate and Humphrey, they actually get character development. It helps that Lily is just about the only wolf that actually manages to look rather cute. Overall, this film is rather bland and adds nothing new to the table that other romantic films haven't done already.
One of the worst movies I've ever seen.
Before I start, I would like to warn you I discuss some spoilerific stuff, except it's not really so spoilerific because it's obvious from the get go what happens. OK wolves are my favorite animals and animated movies are my favorite kind of movies, but Alpha and Omega has to be one of the worse movies I've ever seen. The characters are ugly (except for Lilly and Humphrey) and poorly developed. They look like the kind of trash you'd find on Deviantart. The film is absolutely packed full of stupidity. Here is just a few examples: They meet golfing geese. Geese. How stupid is that? There are vegetarian wolves, which add nothing to the film other then making the other wolves look like monsters, because apparently in this universe they don't have to eat meat to survive and thereby terrorize sapient prey animals. They just choose to. The howling and dancing scenes have to not only the worst in the movie, but some of the worst scenes of all time. I can't think of a singe scene from another movie that was worse. They were just painful and embarrassing to watch. They take one of natures most awesome, eerie and beautiful sounds and turn it into some kind of silly song equivalent of a first kiss for the wolves. The wolves stand on their back legs and dance around like humans and move with too much flexibility throughout the whole film. It just looks cartoonish, in a bad way. Now on for the "spoliers": Kate's "death" was in no way touching or sad. It was obvious from the start she was just going to get back up. If they had the balls to actually kill her off or make her marry Garth I would have had something positive to say about the movie, because it would have been not cliché, and interesting, but alias, I do not. End "spoliers" The movie was cliché, atrocious, inaccurate, silly and stupid. The only thing it's good for is entertaining the kiddies.
Not perfect, but far from awful
Personally, I don't see why critics gave this movie bad reviews, but then again, I rarely understand critics at all. Nine times out of ten, if a critic calls a movie horrible, me and most of my friends like it. This movie is no different. Kate and Humphrey are an Alpha Wolf and an Omega Wolf respectively, but they've been friends since pups. However, due to their class, they just can't mate. As Kate is required to mate with a Jock of a tonedeaf wolf from another pack named Garth to unite the packs and prevent a fight. However, the two are taken by humans to repopulate another park, and have until next full moon to return to save the park. Ok, the first bit of the movie is a bit slow and there are some cheesy moments, but after Kate and Humphrey are taken from the pack, the movie really picks up. Kate and Humphrey really didn't need much character growth outside realizing they care about each other. I liked them, particularally Humphrey. Garth and Lilly, on the other hand, grow a great deal by the end of the film and while I hated Garth at the beginning, he grows out of it and becomes a nice character. I also like Eve, Kate's loving, but mildly psychaotic, mother. All of her lines are pretty funny and I loved her character. The plot isn't completely originaly, but its good enough that I enjoyed it. Overall, I give the movie an 8/10, I liked it, but it wasn't amazing.
Take off the nostalgia goggles.
Guess what. I'm a '90s kid, and based on all of the awesome hand-drawn films that I saw as a kid, I found this movie to be...AMAZING. This movie made me realize that not all non-Pixar/Shrek CGI movies are unsatisfactory. This movie has the heart that was present in all the other classics. The story combines adventure, humor, fun, and that magic that makes a movie work. The story is great and all of the characters are likable, especially Humphrey the fun-loving Omega. However, if there is one problem with it, I would have to say that the pacing can be quite tedious at the beginning of the movie. It is somewhat ridiculously slow, and everything sort of takes a while to sink in. However, once the movie picks up its pace about a third of the way in, it's a fun-filled log ride for people of all ages. So many things happen at once, the characters really start to shine, and the movie picks up more and more speed along the way. The animation can also be a bit unsatisfactory at times but the movie makes up for it with its impressive wildlife backgrounds. By doing this, the movie really establishes how and where wolves live, even though it might exaggerate a bit. Overall, this movie will cause people of all ages to howl for more and want to wolf it all down again and again. I give it a 9 out of 10.
Not for Plot, But for Characters
I went in already determining the course of this film, spoilers and all: the interclass love story, the journey with its gradual falling in love sequences, and how it would ultimately end on an Aladdin-esque Aesop about how one shouldn't force someone to marry someone they don't love. I could see why Alpha and Omega got a lot of bad reviews. The plot was very same ol', same ol' in its execution. But after a while, I concluded that Alpha and Omega isn't a film to watch for its plot. Rather, I found myself growing to like a few of the lead/major characters. I found Humphrey in particular to be amusing and likeable, as I did Kate for her Sane Wolf status and badassery. I also liked the developing Beta Couple Lilly and Garth in their respects (namely Lilly's Adorkable personality and how Garth was thankfully more than the complete Jerk Jock archetype they could have resorted to). I found some gags amusing, like Garth's horrible howl dropping birds and Humphrey attempting to stop the rain with a reversed rain dance. I'll even admit that I love the logboarding sequences, which turned out to be an effective Chekhov's Skill by the film's end. And when I did laugh, it was legitimate, not ironic. However, the characters aren't without faults. I didn't really care for Paddy and Marcel and got annoyed by Eve's death threat Running Gag. Tony was also sadly undeveloped as an antagonist, and I wish we could have seen more of the Eastern pack beyond him and Garth. (Although as Dennis Hopper's final role, he fared alright.) Even the characters I like aren't without flaws. Kate is underdeveloped compared to Humphrey, which is sad considering her role as a lead and how her disappearance is what kicks off the plot in the first place. And Humphrey's role as Comic Relief is undercut by overuse before a lot of more serious sequences can play out to justify it. This also isn't helped by the film's awkward editing job, relentlessly cutting back and forth at parts between our lupine couples and the rest of the story at hand. It will likely depend on whether or not you like the leads as I did. But my advice is to not to watch this film for its plot, but its characters and humor. You already know the story going in. So just see if the characters work for you. And maybe it'll be better than expected, as it was with me. 7.5/10.