Alpha is an epic adventure yarn set in the last Ice Age in Europe, some 20 000 years ago, when primitive tribes existed and lived off the land.
It tells a fascinating, if at times trying, story about a young hunter, injured during a bison hunt, who manages to survive alone in the bitter wilderness with his only companion a wolf.
The producers would like us to believe that this narrative shines a light on the origins of man’s best friend and it’s something to chew over.
Director Albert Hughes has used his vivid imagination to fashion an endurance test, both for actors and audience, detailing this (mis) adventure.
Using the vast wilderness as an impressive backdrop, with graphic shots of amazing near-death experiences, Hughes conveys the feeling of near hopelessness encountered by this intrepid hunter, played with great fortitude by Kodi Smit-McPhee.
His relationship with an injured wolf, whom he names Alpha, is what gives the story its resonance.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhanness, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela
Director: Albert Hughes