Blood And Chocolate

Blood And Chocolate


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

For centuries they were persecuted, tracked down and exterminated. Now, they gather in Bucharest to consolidate and refresh their pledge to Gabriel (Olivier Martinez), leader of the pack. They understand the importance of subterfuge and disguise. Like the aliens in Men In Black, they recognise each other with secret signs, but must retain the persona of normality amongst men.

They are… not Jews, but wolves. Or rather, a race of shape changers, who may have vampiric attributes, but more likely harbour the nature of vicious predators. They specialise in manhunts in the forest, more for sport than anything else, and the majority is young males, with impressive roof-leaping skills, who behave like ex-public school neds.

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This is genre cinema, with a 12A certificate, which would not impress the hard men who made Blade II. However, horror is not the point, because at the centre of this story is Romeo and Juliet, otherwise known as Vivian (Agnes Bruckner), an orphan of persecution – one of them – who works for a chocolatier, and Aiden (Hugh Dancy), an American Gap year student type, who wants to be a graphic novelist.

It is a forbidden romance for obvious reasons – he is a man, she is a wolf – and Gabriel orders his son Rafe (Bryan Dick) to make sure Aiden leaves town with a one way ticket. It doesn’t happen like that, because love is stronger than fear and Rafe has no subtlety, being a bully and a tease, which in wolf terms can get nasty.

The use of the city is impressive and the cinematography often stunning. Dancy holds the key to whether you enjoy the film, because Bruckner spends most of it looking worried and distracted, like someone who has lost their mobile phone, while Martinez does his sex god tribute and is faintly absurd.

The action sequences are well choreographed and the wolves, when they appear, look magnificent. Anyone who has ever dreamed of marrying a wild animal and is a chocoholic must rush to book seats now. Vampire nuts, who get off on virginal necks and fangs like tusks, had better stay away.

Reviewed on: 10 Feb 2007
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The forbidden romance between an American artist and a wolf girl in the historic city of Bucharest.
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Director: Katja von Garnier

Writer: Ehren Kruger, Christopher Landon, based on the novel by Annette Curtis Klause

Starring: Agnes Bruckner, Hugh Dancy, Olivier Martinez, Katja Riemann, Bryan Dick, Chris Geere, Tom Harper, John Kerr, Jack Wilson, Vitalie Ursu, Bogdan Voda

Year: 2007

Runtime: 98 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US


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