A MILD-MANNERED BOOK EDITOR METAMORPHOSES AFTER HE IS BITTEN ON THE HAND BY WOLF. WITH INVIGORATED PHYSICAL STRENGTH, HEIGHTENED SENSES AND OTHER MYSTERIOUS CHANGES. HE GETS REVENGE ON A SCHEMING CO-WORKER WHO TRIES TO STE... more »AL HIS JOB AND HIS WIFE. HE FINDS A NEW VERY BEAUTIFUL LOVE INTEREST.« less
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 8/31/2019...
Always fun to watch! Jack Nicholson is always worth watching and as a were-wolf he is truly scary yet so very funny! As described on the case... this is truly a beastly tale! Michelle Pfeiffer holds her own and falls in love with this unusual character!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
"The worm has turned and is now packing an Uzi, Mary."
H. Bala | Carson - hey, we have an IKEA store! - CA USA | 02/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For those who had never seen Jack Nicholson play it meek in a movie, this may be as meek as dude gets (and then it only lasts for about half an hour). In WOLF, Nicholson plays middle-aged softie Will Randall, a mild-mannered hubbie locked in a marriage of indifference. Will is also the editor-in-chief of a respected New York publishing agency - that is, until he gets demoted, at which point he assumes this indignant but resigned look. As it turns out, this would only be the first in a series of betrayals, and Will Randall looks to be just another in a long line of easily dismissed victims. Except...
WOLF starts out in a snowy, moonlit scene in which Will Randall, motoring from Vermont to Manhattan, is bitten by a wolf he had accidentally run over. And soon the shocking changes begin to manifest. Will feels strangely rejuvenated, even as he develops extremely heightened senses. Suddenly he's able to eavesdrop from across the atrium, sniff out morning liquor on a co-worker's breath, and hurdle tall walls in slow motion. His newly gained confidence allows him to take charge of his life and even revenge himself on those what done him wrong. And then, one day, a disconcerted Will Randall wakes up, soaked in blood.
Once in a blue full moon, a schlock genre spits out a gem. I happen to think that WOLF is one of the better, smarter entries in werewolf cinema, and I'd even put it up there with An American Werewolf in London, The Howling (Special Edition) and The Company of Wolves. I dig WOLF for the various elements which come correct. For a contemporary film, it wallows in this marvelous gothic atmosphere. There are wicked, unexpected flourishes of humor, and even a smattering of social satire, if one presumes that Will Randall's gradual descent from reserved refinement to uninhibited wolfishness is a metaphor for the predatory, in-the-trenches facet of the New York publishing world.
It's weird seeing Jack Nicholson in an underdog role, but it's very neat seeing his docile, dumped-on character - whose traits of "taste and individuality" suddenly become liabilities in his job - gaining a huge pair and constructing such a ruthless yet elegant get-back. Nicholson submits a layered interpretation, delivering a fascinating study of a cultured man's growing horror as he succumbs to his baser instincts. The fascinating bits all have to do with that part of him which revels in this turn to savagery. While Nicholson does get moments to chew up scenery, for a good part we're treated to a restrained performance, although, having said that, there's a whiff of that devilish Jack just underneath most of the scenes. Casting dude as a lycanthrope is a no-brainer; there's always been something feral about Jack. And, when he chooses, who else can apply a more baleful, wolfish glare?
Nicholson is supported by sharp performances by Michelle Pfeiffer (still very much in her babedom, in 1994) as surly heiress and wounded soul Laura Alden, in whom Will Randall finds a kindred spirit, and Christopher Plummer who, as Randall's boss and Laura's father, flaunts just enough equal doses of sophistication, despicability and worldly understanding that he invites this ambivalent, just-on-principles form of dislike. And James Spader rocks. James Spader for a while had cornered the market on those oily backstabbling yuppie parts. This is never more exemplified than in his role of Stewart Swinton, Randall's friend and underling, whose calculated smarm and brand of "heat and gossip" contrive to betray Randall in all ways.
Having recently reseen WOLF, I'm again startled that the violence is so low-key. The werewolf scenes are understated, the werewolf make-up not as dynamic or viscerally rendered as, say, that in THE HOWLING or AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. WOLF instead relies more on suspense and the sense of horror being evoked thru effective use of lighting and score, thru adroit character study and spot-on acting. The disappointing thing is that WOLF, in its climactic scenes, resorts to a typical werewolf fighty fight. And I'm still not quite sure whether I like the ending or not, although the closing shots certainly smack of the darkly poetic. In the final tally, WOLF is overwhelmingly a terrific horror movie, dark and subtle and literate, romantic and wicked funny. So, er, go ahead... take a bite of this (sorry, I groaned too)."
Jack the wolf
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 12/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jack Nicholson plays a werewolf, and he's the most natural werewolf since Boris Karloff. James Spader plays a weasel and he is equally adept in that role. Rounding off this impressive ensemble cast (for a werewolf movie) are Christopher Plummer as a man with altogether too much wealth and power, and Michelle Pfeiffer as his lovely daughter.
Fans of werewolf movies may be surprised at the timbre of this particular tale. The whole story is very surreal and has an everpresent dream-like feel to it. The special effects of werewolves & transformation are actually pretty scarce. The film instead mainly focuses on the psychological metamorphosis of man turning into beast.
Perhaps most jolting to viewers of WW movies is the body count. Or, should I say, the lack thereof. If you're looking for a WW movie that has scene after scene of poor chaps being mauled, this one may not be for you.
This is a well done film if you're looking for a more cerebral type of WW film than the normal fare. As I mentioned, the cast is also a higher calibre than normal. If ever there was a WW story that had a haunting elegance to it, this just might be it."
HOWLING GOOD MOVIE
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 11/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who ever would have thought director Mike Nichols and stars Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer would participate in a werewolf movie? WOLF is a howling good movie, though, filled with typical werewolf scares and a penetrating script and sharp performances. Nicholson is perfect as a mealy-mouthed senior editor who is booted by boss Christopher Plummer in favor of his protege, the smarmy James Spader (excellent in his typical style). At the beginning of the film, in an eerily staged sequence, Jack is bitten by a wolf that he has just hit with his Volvo. He notices some changes, particularly in his new aggressive behavior, not to mention an enhanced sense of smell and hearing. Wife Kate Nelligan is having an affair with Spader and this sparks some interesting consequences. A couple of plot twists occur, one we should have seen coming and the other a little more ambiguous, but sensible anyhow. WOLF is a classy horror film, and notoriously overlooked, but it's a good one!"
Oh Jack!...You're Such An Animal!
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 09/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This review refers to "Wolf"(VHS edition)...
Howling fun with Jack Nicholson, as he clearly marks his territory in "Wolf" A modern take on the wolfman lore, and a thriller/horror film that makes me jump even though I have seen it several times and already know what's coming up.
Will Randall, Editor in Chief of a huge book publishing firm, is an all around nice guy. So nice in fact, that when he hits a wolf on a dark snowy night, on the highway, he tries to move the dead animal off the road. But, get ready to jump, the wolf is very much alive, bites our guy and heads off into the woods to join his pack.
Randall becomes a new man as he slowly goes through the biggest change of life he'll ever know! His senses become heightened, his sleep habits change, he tends to prowl the streets of New York, and the more suitable terrain of Central Park at night,other animals fear him, he's got a new edge to his personality, and yes things are really getting a bit hairy, as he often wakes with blood on his hands and clothes.
Could our guy be responsible for some vicious murders? Can the girl he has fallen for(Michelle Pfeiffer), keep this guy home at nights? Will Jack be doomed to the animal kingdom forever? It's a fabulous thrill finding out, as Nicholson pulls off his turn at a wolfman wonderfully, in that great Jack style!
This film might not have had the punch it did, without the great cast and crew. Directed by Mike Nichols, these seasoned and talented actors take us on a real thrill ride. Michelle Pfeiffer, as the bad girl who falls for Will the Wolf, James Spader, you'll love to hate him as Will's nemesis, Kate Nelligan, the unfaithful wife(big mistake!), Christopher Plummer, the boss who is subject to the "new" Will's wrath, and Om Puri, the expert on folklore of the wolf, will all have you glued to the film.There are some great shots of New York, and add Ennio Morricone's award winning music to the mix and you are in for a fine horror film.
To sum up, here's a great quote from the film:
Mary:(Will's secretary)"Is the worm turning, Mr. Randall?" Will Randall: The worm has turned and it is now packing an Uzi, Mary.
Good stuff...get the popcorn poppin and enjoy....Laurie
for more fun thrills and great horror check out:Tremors"
Baz Anderson | The Center, The Ring of Concepts | 01/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This simply is one of the most realistic exposés ever on the publishing business. Having worked at several major publishers, I can tell you that thing pretty much work exactly as they appear in the film. When I worked for a house that shall remain unnamed (for fear that one of their editors will enter my garden during a moonlit party and rip out my throat while my guests are mixing martinis in the kitchen) we had several editors and authors contract various forms and variations of lycanthropy. Although to be fair, it is much more common to root out the symptoms early and simply give the person a sick day to go get a few shots, a flea dip, and an exorcism. I can't tell you how many times I had to explain to a growling coworker on the phone that simply howling into the receiver and loudly gnawing a raw deli pork chop was not enough to get them out of a deadline, and that they would be required to produce a doctor and/or shamans note to keep from being docked a day's pay. Between that and the dying mystics calling up wanting us to send around one or more of our editors to bite them so they could live eternally as a wolf I am amazed that any books ever got published. In my department alone we spent over $71,000 on amulets just to keep editors at their desks working - shaking, sweating and grunting incoherently while huge fangs jutted out of their lower jaws - but working. If you are thinking of working with a major publishing house, make sure to see this but be aware that it is a little dated.
Now, if you are a human possessed of a wolf spirit, you should be aware that most publishers daughters are a bit rebellious and willing to date the "lycanthropically challenged' (as Human Resources makes me call them) but the pairings are so common that there aren't that many good publishers daughters left. Frankly there are so many well-known "lycanthrope/publisher's relative" dating websites now that getting into publishing isn't even necessary anymore.
It is true that these days becoming possessed of an animal spirit is an easy way up the corporate publishing ladder. God knows after walking around in the woods for weeks trying to get bitten by even a mildly pissed off toad (with no luck) I finally gave up and just decided to be the best junior editor I could be. And you know what, I'm happier for that. The prowling packs of Wolf-editors might get a lot more play with the ladies at some of the company cocktail parties, but I just stick close to the stables where the chicks that are into horses hang out. Ha ha, those wolf jerks don't even bother hitting on equestrian chicks anymore.
And one more hint, sense of smell being what it is, bring an atomizer full of Cuero and lime to your next board meeting to spritz some of your coworkers with. It will really pay some off as any of their bosses with supernaturally enhanced senses will probably send them home for the day. That has gotten me ahead of a few rivals I can tell you! "