I’m a sucker for a great WW2 movie. Throw me a classic like “Patton” or “The Great Escape” and I’m all in for three hours. Occasionally a modern day take like Tom Cruise’s 2008 “Valkyrie” breaks through as a great new war thriller.
So, I was intrigued by the new film WOLF HOUND, which promised to use real planes from the era to tell the story of a German special operation repairing allied aircraft and using them as Trojan Horse weapons against Europe and America.
It’s a great concept and an interesting hook.
Unfortunately, we get a b-movie cast and d-grade screenwriting that never manages to really capture what could have been a suspenseful tale.
The film focuses on Jewish-American Captain David Holden. The film desperately wants to paint a Harrison Ford type wise-ass hero, but James Maslow (apparently from a music group named Big Time Rush that I’ve never heard of) is no Ford.
When Holden is shot down and ambushed behind German lines, hordes of Nazis chase him from every direction, but can never quite shoot him
I find that amazing since the first thing he does in the forest is take off his camo color short so he can run around in a crisp white undershirt that makes him stand out in the landscape like Where’s Waldo in a yellow rain slicker.
It’s not the only stupid thing in the movie.
All the Jewish pilots wear big Star of David necklaces around their necks. Not exactly an accessory of choice in Naziville.
At one point, Holden busts into a Nazi stronghold where POWs are being held and starts a major gunfight. Even though every bad guy in the building knows he’s there breaking out the Americans, all the yanks and allies have a 90-second-long conversation about what they’re going to do next. We were screaming at the screen, “RUN! They know you are there!”
But the screenwriters, director and editor just allow a leisurely chat to go on forever. Seriously stupid. But hey, Maslow gets to flex in his t-shirt as he shoulders his weapons, so I guess that was important to someone.
The high points of the movie are its action sequences. Using a real Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, P-51 Mustang fighters, Spitfires and a B-25 Mitchell Bomber, the aerial scenes look great. Unfortunately, there’s a whole lot of boring in between those scenes.
The production said they used 4000 rounds of blank ammunition during filming.
That’s close to the same number of times I rolled my eyes during its bloated 130-minute running time.
Slow and dumb is no way to make a movie. WOLF HOUND is all bluster and no adventure, landing with a D and a thud.