Movie Reviews

Published on August 17th, 2018 | by Jennifer Fiduccia

0

Alpha

Columbia Pictures new release Alpha stars Kodi Smit-McPhee as Keda, and
Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson) as Tau, his father.

Tau is the tribe leader, and must determine whether the young male tribe
members are ready for the annual hunt. He tests all the spear points
crafted by the boys, and passes or fails them based on the craftsmanship
of the arrowheads.

Keda is one of the only two young men that pass the test, and in spite
of his mothers (and his own) reservations, joins the hunt.

Keda isn’t a strong figure, like his father Tau, and the movie shows
some of the tension and strife this causes the father and son. Tau is
trying to teach Keda to be a leader, and Keda seems too soft-hearted to
be able to bear the task. Keda has a hard time with the killing of
animals, even though it is needed to sustain the tribe.

The annual hunt consists of tracking down a herd of bison over a span of
days, and then creeping up on them on their grazing grounds and spooking
them into headlong flight over the edge of a high cliff. The hunters
must keep the herd from turning back to the open plain by throwing their
spears and running full-tilt at the bison. The run to push the bison
over the cliffs edge starts off well, and then takes a tragic turn when
one of the bison turns towards the hunters and charges at Keda. Kedas
confidence breaks and he turns tail to run, with the bison chasing him
down. When the bison lowers his head to charge at Keda, the bisons horn
catches in Kedas clothing and the bison turns towards the cliff face and
dump Keda over the edge.
Keda miraculously lands on a rock outcropping about half way down the
cliff face, but it is still too far for Tau to reach him. Keda is
unconscious, and does not respond to his fathers calls.

Tau is convinced that he must leave his son for dead and head towards
home in order to be able to provide for the tribe.

A day later, Keda wakes and finds himself alone, with broken bones, and
no way to get off the cliff face.

What follows is a story of coming of age and determination. Keda must
find his way off the cliff face, and using the tools given to him by his
father on the way to the bison hunting grounds, find his way home. He
finds unlikely companionship in a wolf that he injured while the wolf
pack was hunting him down to try to eat him, which he nurses back to
health. He names the wolf “Alpha”, but in truth, it is Keda who is
learning to become the alpha, or leader of the pack.

The scenery in the movie is breathtaking, and the movie really comes to
life with the 3D option. I can only imagine that it would be even better
in IMAX.

There were pieces of the film that were entirely un-realistic, but they
were rather quickly covered up by the fast-paced nature of the film.

The only part I really groaned at was the very end scene, but I will let
you draw your own conclusions on that so that I don’t ruin it for you!

My son just turned 10 and he liked it a lot, but did mention that a few
parts were not 100% “kid-friendly” due to the scare-factor. He was
specifically referring to one scene that made us both literally jump in
our seats. He said over all the movie was great and that he enjoyed it
immensely.

I would give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend that you see
it in IMAX 3D if you are able!

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