We evaluate the brand new sequence Wolf Pack, from Teen Wolf creator Jeff Davis, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rodrigo Santoro.
Plot: A raging California wildfire jumps onto a roadway, trapping a bus full of highschool college students. Everett and Blake encounter one thing lurking within the flames and smoke. Luna and Harlan cross the hearth line in a determined seek for their lacking Park Ranger father, and Kristen Ramsey, a really decided arson investigator, arrives on the scene.
Overview: The identical day Jeff Davis’ werewolf sequence Teen Wolf debuts a long-awaited continuation within the type of a feature-length movie, the showrunner additionally premieres an all-new tackle werewolf mythology: Wolf Pack. Primarily based on the sequence of novels by Edo van Belkom, Wolf Pack is a far totally different story from Teen Wolf regardless of each sequence depicting lycanthropy in suburban areas. The place Teen Wolf centered on the title monsters earlier than increasing into different supernatural entities, Wolf Pack fosters a mythology squarely centered on the werewolves, the place they arrive from, and their function. Slowly teasing out how these beasts and their powers exist on this sequence, Wolf Pack opens with mysteries, intercourse, and a large wildfire that propels this story in a route a lot totally different than different style tv sequence.
Within the first two episodes, Wolf Pack opens in the course of the evacuation from a large wildfire within the Los Angeles space. We first meet Everett Lang (Armani Jackson), a teen who suffers from excessive anxiousness as he struggles to regulate himself whereas using the bus to highschool. When he and classmate Blake Navarro (Bella Shepard) study faculty is canceled, a herd of untamed animals lunges out of the forest at them, leading to wolf bites on the kids. After being taken to the hospital, unusual sensations occur to Everett and Blake. On the identical time, siblings Harlan (Tyler Lawrence Grey) and Bella (Chloe Rose Robertson) fear about their adoptive father, Garrett (Rodrigo Santoro), who could also be trapped within the rising blaze.
In returning to style tv, Sarah Michelle Gellar is being marketed as the large title hooked up to this sequence, however she seems in lower than 5 minutes between the primary two episodes of Wolf Pack. Gellar performs arson investigator Kristin Ramsey, who appears to know a bit extra concerning the blazes cropping up round Los Angeles and instantly targets Blake and Everett. It’s tough to discern if she is aware of concerning the werewolves or if her connection is totally different. Nonetheless, Gellar’s character may simply be an ally to the kids or a stable antagonist. She shares many scenes with Lanny Joon (Child Driver), who performs menacing cop Jason Jang. Neither Gellar nor Joon appears to be the supply of the mysterious telephone calls that Blake and Everett obtain from a distorted voice warning them a few menace on the horizon. Might this menace be by a unique pack of wolves or one thing extra human?
There are some large positives and a few negatives to the primary episodes of Wolf Pack. Having solely screened the primary two chapters of this story, it isn’t simple to gauge the context of the story. With the framing of the wildfires, Wolf Pack drops the viewer proper into the story’s warmth with little likelihood to get acclimated. We meet a number of characters, and the kids are all in difficult private conditions. Everett struggles together with his overbearing mom, Blake takes care of her autistic brother, and her father struggles as a single mother or father. On the identical time, Harlan and Luna harbor the key of their wolven origin as the complete moon brings them collectively. Luna appears to be probably the most grounded and balanced of the 4 teenagers, whereas Harlan spends most of those two episodes engaged in promiscuous intercourse. Harlan additionally looks as if a blatant course correction for creator Jeff Davis, who has typically been criticized for weakly depicting LGBTQ characters on Teen Wolf. The grownup characters are fairly skinny within the early going. Rodrigo Santoro and Sarah Michelle Gellar will not be on display screen sufficient to guage their function within the narrative.
Whereas the sequence is difficult to gauge this early, the dramatic parts on this sequence really feel way more mature than Teen Wolf regardless of the primary characters nonetheless being excessive school-aged. As a result of the sequence is streaming on Paramount+, there are not any restrictions relating to profanity or violence. The nudity is squarely PG-13, however some violence pushes the envelope in comparison with Teen Wolf. With route from Jason Ensler, Davis and his writing staff carry the younger adult-centric supply materials and lift it to a barely extra mature viewers. Wolf Pack seems to be extra cinematic than Davis’ earlier sequence however nonetheless struggles with CGI wolves that look underwhelming. Most visible results are restricted to glowing eyes and fangs, however they give the impression of being unrealistic when absolutely rendered animals are seen. However, this sequence doesn’t rely too closely on CGI within the first episodes, however that will change because the season continues.
So far as teen-centric style sequence go, Wolf Pack does away with the cheesier parts of Teen Wolf whereas constructing an alluring mythology round werewolves that’s totally different than what we’ve seen earlier than. These early episodes arrange an ensemble of characters elsewhere, with the tease of all of them coming collectively to battle a supernatural menace. If the steadiness of display screen time stays the identical for the whole season, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Rodrigo Santoro’s involvement might really feel like a false promise. Nonetheless, the 4 younger leads on this sequence have sufficient presence and chemistry that they need to instill sufficient confidence for followers to stay with this one. Violent, horny, and mysterious, Wolf Pack has a protracted approach to go to show it’s value investing in for a number of seasons, however there’s stable potential in these first chapters.
Wolf Pack premieres on January twenty sixth on Paramount+.