It centres around submariner Chanteraide (Frank‘s François Civil – above), aka Socks, who has the ‘golden ear’ and can detect an evil submarine at 50 paces… or something like that. Basically, if you’re looking for the one person who can check whether or not you’re in danger, it’s him.
The titular Wolf’s Call is the active sonar of an Iranian submarine – off the coast of Syria – which has detected the men, and which means action stations! This happens early on, and they eventually get clear of it, but it’s not easy by any means, and the intention is that it sets the scene for what’s to follow.
Along the way, he gets obsessed with the sounds he heard on that day, but his skills are called upon once again – which you’re expecting because that’s how this sort of thriller works; you’re hardly going to just watch him go home and twiddle his thumbs for 90 minutes.
I don’t know an awful lot about those who work on a submarine, so I’ve never come across anyone before who has this sort of job; and this leads to the problem that there’s far too much of the nitty gritty of the job, meaning it’s not particularly accessible. Hence, I just can’t get to grips with it, and you’re left staring at a screen with what looks like a random pattern being shown when it’s meant to represent the sonar waves left by a big submarine, and that’s meant to represent danger.
Three questions for writer/director Antonin Baudry:
- 1. Why does everyone on board have to be such an angry hot-head, such as those in charge including Alfost (Mathieu Kassovitz – Rebellion, Happy End) and Grandchamp (Reda Kateb)? It makes this feel like a cliche.
- 2. Why are two French submarines shooting at each other?
- 3. Why is this film “set in the near future”? What difference does that make?!
The Wolf’s Call has an immensely slow first half, and then it slows down further. Crimson Tide, this is not.
Running time: 116 minutes
Release date: December 30th 2019
Studio: Spirit Entertainment
Director: Antonin Baudry
Producers: Alain Attal, Jérôme Seydoux
Screenplay: Antonin Baudry
Chanteraide: François Civil
D’Orsi: Omar Sy
Alfost: Mathieu Kassovitz
Grandchamp: Reda Kateb
Diane: Paula Beer
Second SNLE-B2R: Alexis Michalik
Commandant CIRA: Jean-Yves Berteloot
Officier navigation SNLE: Damien Bonnard
Veilleur sonar SNA: Pierre Cevaer
Cadet SNA: Sébastien Libessart
Opérateur table SNA: Paul Granier
Maître de centrale: Etienne Guillou-Kervern
Elaboration SNA: Guillaume Duhesme
Barreur SNA: Simon Thomas
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.