A Boy & His Wolf At IMAX

By Chris Narloch

If you can get to Sacramento’s Esquire IMAX Theatre on K Street before it ends this Thursday, Aug. 23, I recommend you check out the new movie “Alpha,” a stunning big screen adventure about a young hunter who befriends an injured wolf during the Ice Age.

Presented in IMAX 3D, and set 20,000 years ago, “Alpha” is a feast for the senses that includes terrific music, gorgeous cinematography, superb performances, and a family-friendly plot.

An origin story that tells the fictional tale of the first domesticated wolf, who becomes “man’s best friend” to the movie’s hero, “Alpha” was filmed in rugged locations in Vancouver and Iceland that stand in for prehistoric Europe.

Kodi Smit-McPhee plays the movie’s main character, a young man who is separated from his father and the rest of his tribe during a hunting expedition to kill bison, and has to battle the elements while trying to return home.

After he is attacked by a pack of wolves, one of whom becomes injured, the hero and the wolf bond during their convalescence and then become companions on the young man’s quest to rejoin his tribe.

There is very little dialogue in the film, and that dialogue is subtitled from a made-up, primitive language spoken by the characters, but the movie’s images do most of the talking.

The scenery in “Alpha” is breathtaking, Smit-McPhee has a vulnerability that makes him instantly sympathetic, and the straightforward “man’s best friend” storyline is a winner right up to the movie’s too-abrupt conclusion, which mars but does not ruin what is otherwise a first-rate film.

For information and tickets, visit https://www.imax.com/imax-esquire-oo.

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