Daughter of the Wolf review by Bobby Blakey
I have been a fan of Gina Carano for years, all the way back to Fight Girls and her time as Crush on the reboot of American Gladiators. As irony would have it we also both trained Muay Thai under Master Toddy in Thailand, but sadly at different times. Needless to say I am a fan and have watched every film she has done and was excited when her latest Daughter of the Wolf co-starring Richard Dreyfuss came out of nowhere. Could this latest starring vehicle deliver more of the action we love or will it get frozen in place?
Daughter of the Wolf follows a military veteran who hunts the men who kidnapped her son. The premise here is pretty simple and offers up just enough back story to keep the film moving forward. Visually it is stunning using the snow backdrop of the mountains as almost a character all their own. There are essentially two films here with one being the revenge flick and the other being about survival that intertwines well.
Carano is full on lead here and forced to carry the load of the film both physically and emotionally. Thankfully she does a great job with it all around, but I was kind of disappointed that she didn’t get more action to really play around in. Nothing annoys me more than filmmakers not utilizing the talent they have to its full potential. Now I know this was likely by design for this specific role and Carano doesn’t have to be doing martial arts in every role, but at least give her something meaty to do with the action you do have on screen.
There is only a couple real fight scenes and I am not sure if it was the editing or that Carano had to slow it down for the actor to keep up but one of them felt pretty clunky and slow. It was also hard to buy into Dreyfuss holding his own against Carano, but that was just my own issue and I know they were trying to go with a more realistic approach to it all. On the flip side there are plenty of survival action moments that keep you entertained and might have made the film work even better had it just been about that aspect and ditched the entire revenge side.
In the end this is a decent flick that I did enjoy, but cannot lie I was hoping for more on the action side. If you know what you are getting going in I think you will likely have a lot more fun with the whole thing. This might be the best showcase of acting that Carano has gotten to showcase so far and she has grown into a really good actor. I cannot wait to see what she does in the future most notably the upcoming Star Wars live action series The Mandalorian.