“Alpha is an epic adventure set in the last Ice Age. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and left for dead. Awakening to find himself broken and alone, he must learn to survive and navigate the harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learns to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before the deadly winter arrives.” [Promotional text]
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This is an interesting action movie which is not only entertaining but can also be educational. Through its storytelling it tries to teach us two concepts: first, how our distant ancestors were living and also how the domestication of the wolf might have happened. It is a nice movie with a beautiful photography (and lots of CGI!) and a very simple story: boy gets hurt and left for dead, boy make friend with a companion of misfortune, and boy tries to survive and come back home. Unfortunately some scenes lack realism and are rather unbelievable.
The movie did well at the box-office (doubling the production cost) and was relatively well received by the critics (with ratings of 6.7 on IMDb and of 80% / 71% on Rotten Tomatoes). It was slightly less appreciated by the audience and what might have hurt it was probably that the viewers had to suffer not only through the “fake” language spoken by the protagonist and his family (we have no idea what kind of language those people were really using) but also the necessary subtitles (the American audience tends to dislike having to “read” a movie).
The people portrayed in this movie are “the solutreans” (which was originally supposed to be the title of the movie). They were early modern humans (Homo sapiens also called “Cro-Magnon”) living in Europe during the Upper Paleolithic (c. 20,000 years ago) and using a sophisticated flint tool-making “industry”. The movie certainly took some artistic license but it looks rather accurate to me.
The movie is quite loveable and entertaining but, personally, it is above all this effort to depict a prehistoric culture that made it interesting. It is worth seeing, mostly for dog lovers and if you are curious about the solutreans.
To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:
Also, you can check the official trailer on Youtube:
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