Review: The Wolf’s Call – Le chant du loup (2019)


The Wolf’s Call – Le chant du loup (2019)

Directed by: Antonin Baudry | 115 minutes | action, thriller | Actors: François Civil, Omar Sy, Mathieu Kassovitz, Reda Kateb, Paula Beer, Alexis Michalik, Jean-Yves Berteloot, Damien Bonnard, Pierre Cevaer, Sébastien Libessart, Paul Granier, Etienne Guillou-Kervern, Guillaume Duhesme, Simon Thomas

In ‘The Wolf’s Call’ (original French title: ‘Le chant du loup’), Chanteraide (François Civil) has the unique ability to identify sounds very accurately. This comes in handy in his job as a submarine sound specialist in acoustic warfare. Based on the sounds that the sonar picks up, it makes an analysis of what else is in the water, so that the manager can make an informed decision based on that. Where untrained listeners only observe movements in the water, Chanteraide draws conclusions such as the model, make and country of origin of the vessel. He can even distinguish a defect or repair.

When his submarine has to rescue a group of divers from the coast of Syria, Chanteraide hears a noise he can’t place. His commander completely relies on the employee’s opinion. It results in an exciting rescue mission, where many risks are taken, but which ends well – not counting the downed Iranian helicopter. Once back in France, however, Chanteraide does not let go. What mysterious submarine made that noise? Chanteraide is opposed on all sides and secretly investigates. What he discovers puts the whole political situation in a different light.

‘The Wolf’s Call’ is a smooth action film, which regularly plays with logic. Strangely enough, that’s something you actually forget while watching. The choices the Marines make is based more on protocol than common sense, which makes the film a bit far-fetched. An important twist in the story halfway through the film also raises eyebrows, but if you don’t dwell on that for too long, the exciting events quickly grip you.

Civil is a pleasant appearance and he is assisted by seasoned actors such as Mathieu Kassovitz, Reda Kateb and Omar Sy. Paula Beer is Chanteraide’s love interest. Because of her part in the film, Chanteraide is just a bit more human. The two definitely have chemistry, but her character doesn’t come back later. ‘The Wolf’s Call’ is less claustrophobic than similar films in the submarine subgenre and especially benefits from the tough and brave characters, who nevertheless remain caricatures. Entertaining French thriller.

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