I was super-excited to find out that Alcide, the werewolf from True Blood was getting his own movie. It was classic. Alcide and a pack of hot shirtless men tour the South meeting eccentric characters with seemingly supernatural powers. There were some confusing bits, though. Let me take you through them.
To be honest, this movie nearly lost me right away. In classic True Blood style, it drops in a new character. I thought the guy looked like Colossus from the X-Men, but apparently he’s actually Gambit, which fits with the southern theme. The actor doesn’t even attempt the Cajun accent, but that didn’t seem to annoy the audience as much as the fact that he wasn’t in the correct costume. There were clearly a lot of strict cosplayers in the theater with me, because whenever he took off the non-canon costume they burst into applause.
Still, we stayed with him for a while. I was about ready to walk when Alcide appears completely naked and I knew that True Blood hadn’t truly changed its style.
Alcide and his new pack have figured out that they are going to die. Not right away, but eventually. Facing their inevitable mortality kicks them into action. At first they decide to go out in some crazy, apocalyptic battle, but isn’t that just a little too simplistic for True Blood? No, what they learn over the course of the film is that if they’re going to die, they have to truly live first, and that means that each of them has to become the person they were meant to be all along. (They come to this realization under the influence of someone named Molly. Not sure if she was a witch or what, but she really seemed to help them out.)
Which doesn’t mean there isn’t some carnage. At the big battle at the end, hordes of female maenads appear. One man frantically sings to stave them off, but falters, and appears to be devoured by the women. I love it when the series stays true to its mythological roots. That’s an exact parallel of what happened with Orpheus and the Thracian Women. Well done, True Blood. Well done indeed.
But really it’s the journey to the finale that matters, as it gives us the chance to explore the world in which these characters live. Along the way, we meet, I think, the Queens of both Georgia and South Carolina. (Pity we didn’t see Russell Edgington.) We also see a dance at a nightclub that cleverly foreshadows the maenad battle.
The stand-out, though, is that guy who was supposed to be Spider-Man. You’re not going to believe it, but he is still auditioning. You remember that awful scene in the Raimi film, where Peter goes dark and does that weird song and dance number? He re-enacts it, right down to the dark suit. (Except they didn’t give him a shirt. The production had to cut corners somewhere.) The difference is, he nails it. There was nothing but clapping in the theater. Well, I think there were a few other things too (I didn’t feel comfortable looking too closely at what other people were doing) but I assure you there was universal approval.
In the end, this is Alcide’s story. He has a new pack, and seems comfortable, but he really has to work through his issues with women. In True Blood, if you remember, he had to face girlfriends who sabotaged him, ignored him, and tried to kill him. In this film, he faces someone more fearsome—Andie MacDowell. She wrecked Hugh Grant, she nearly annihilated Bill Murray. Can Alcide survive? I wouldn’t dream of telling you how it turns out. I will only say that there is a harness involved.
This review is dedicated to Meredith Woerner, the righteous angel of Bon Temps.