Blood and Chocolate, based on the book by Annette Curtis Klause, directed by Katja von Garnier is an interspecies romance based in modern day Bucharest. Writers Ehren Kruger and Christopher Landon take us down a path as interesting as driving in the Great Plains.
Agnes Bruckner plays the Lugaru (person who changes into a wolf, not a werewolf) girl Vivian, who falls in love with a human. Her love interest, Aiden, played by Hugh Dancy, is running from American authorities, hiding out in Europe. They meet by accident and a love story is born. Aiden doesn’t know that Vivian is of the canine persuasion and that the leader of her pack, Gabriel, has plans to make her his wife. Gabriel, Olivier Martinez’s character, stops at nothing to make sure she becomes his mate. He sends out every means at his disposal to kill, mame or scare away Aiden.
The acting in this movie will win no awards but for the most part, isn’t terrible either. Some smart casting and editorial decisions makes this movie one of the better “werewolf” movies I’ve seen in a while.
Agnes Bruckner’s struggle is strained from time to time. Still, the scenes when she’s alone with Aiden are believable, even if the director went cliché. There are also scenes where she isn’t at one hundred percent health and she avoids over acting.
Hugh Dancy looks like a sixties rock and roll band member. His unfortunate hair cut aside, his portrayal of a man in love is endearing. There is a scene where he is afraid and hiding in the dark. I was impressed that we didn’t play macho man, nor did he get “Blair Witch Project” either.
Unfortunately, Agnus Bruckner and Hugh Dancy aren’t the only actors in the film. Rafe, played by Brian Dick, is supposed to be an intense character brimming with self importance and societal disregard. Instead Dick plays Rafe as an immature child, filled with an adolescent rebellious attitude. Through most of the movie it feels like he is flexing all of his muscles in order to get the intense look for which he is going. He just tries too hard to seem scary. I wanted to get up and bitch slap his back talking ass.
All the acting in the world, good or bad, couldn’t save this movie from its barf-o-licious script. I don’t know if it is impossible to write a wolf person story that doesn’t involve an us vs. them storyline, but I sure haven’t seen it. I think Hollywood should refuse to make any movies about werewolves until someone comes up with a script that has more going than dogs vs. people or dogs vs. vampires.
“Blood and Chocolate” has a Lugaru ritual so cheeseball they should be wrapped, packaged and sold by Pepperidge Farms. Everyone gets down on their knees and exposes their necks to Gabriel, the leader of the Lugaru before they hunt a person, running through the woods. The ritual seems as if it were written by a high school freshman, trying to make his movie the most watched on YouTube.com.
“Blood and Chocolate” made me want to travel to Bucharest. The scenery was beautiful. The buildings in this flick were amazing. They oozed old world charm and modern romanticism. The narrow walk ways and lovely sculptures add to the lovely feel of the city.
There are far too many chase scenes in “Blood and Chocolate.” Most of the movie is spent watching the back end of humans or wolves. Needless to say it isn’t the best view in the animal kingdom.
I commend Katja von Garnier for not showing the change from human to wolf. It always happens that the budget for a movie doesn’t allow for the graphics necessary for a believable changeover. “Blood and Chocolate” uses a different mythology than the typical werewolf stories, to explain the Lugaru’s change from person to wolf with out having to go through the awkward “Teen Wolf” transitions.
For a werewolf movie “Blood and Chocolate” isn’t bad. But if you want to see a good movie, it wouldn’t be this one.