Film » Film Features

Big Bad Wolf

Howl along with the awful Alpha and Omega

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Humphrey (voiced by Justin Long) and Kate (Hayden Panettiere) are buddies in their wolf pack until Kate goes off to alpha training to become a future pack leader in the animated Alpha and Omega. Humphrey is an omega; his pack role is merely comic relief. The two classes traditionally never mix, but when Humphrey and Kate find themselves relocated from their Canada home to a park in Idaho, Humphrey shows he can be more than a joke as he helps Kate get home to fulfill her responsibility of marrying a rival pack’s male alpha. Instead of facing conflict head on and giving young audiences something real, Alpha and Omega sidesteps all its trials, creating a thin veil of suspense that is always quickly and conveniently wrapped up. And rather than letting the movie be what it is — something for little ones to laugh at — the writers inject random jabs at adult humor that are truly awful. This doesn’t mean straight-up silliness doesn’t have a place in a kids flick. But the trick is to use it with purpose and balance it with something devastating or terrifying, guaranteeing audience members big and small an intensely emotional and beautiful ride. Alpha and Omega fails pretty much across the board. --Laura Dattaro

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