Alpha is One of the Best Prehistory Movies Ever Made
It’s unfortunate that Alpha was delayed for a year, given little promotion, and released among more attention-grabbing late summer fare, because it is a literally awesome film — as in the jaw drops in awe at the beauty of it.
The story is a basic one: the young hunter out to prove his leadership who goes through an ordeal trying to get back home with the help of a dog companion. The basic beats of the tale won’t surprise most viewers. But Albert Hughes (the first time he’s directed without his brother Allen) shoots it with intense passion, as if he’s striving for 2001: A Space Odyssey levels of vast transcendentalism — while also appreciating the action/adventure qualities of One Million Years B.C.
It’s rough, strange, dream-like, and both one of the best dog movies and prehistory movies ever made.
Below is my recut of the trailer with music I think better captures the sensation of the film and its visuals.
Looks good. I loved 10000BC, possibly a bit biased as a friend worked on quite a large portion of the movie set. Listening to the trailer music i kept looking out for a mysterious rectangular stone tablet making an appearance…:)
@Tony – There actually is a monolith of sorts in the movie! A tall, narrow stone cairn which was “left by the ancestors” and which the hunters use as a guidepost. The shine shines through a keyhole at the top, and Keda approaches and touches it at one point, so I don’t think Albert Hughes could be any clearer about it as a reference to the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. (Too bad it’s not in the trailer footage.)
I hadn’t heard of it before this but I might have to check it out now. I just watched the official trailers for it and the second one in particular indicates that the marketing people decided to throw in the towel and sell it as a Disney-like “boy and his li’l animal pal” movie, complete with cheesy voiceover and lazily recycled music. Always sad to see good movies, especially non-sequels, strangled at birth.
@andy – The voiceover in the trailer is extra deceptive, since the movie is completely in a constructed language with subtitles! Yes, this was going to be hard to market, but Dinsey kid-friendly was certainly not the way to go.
Saw this film today with my kids…. and we really loved it. Thanks for the rec, Ryan!
Also, you were dead on about the photography. It’s a gorgeous film, definitely worth seeing on the wide screen.