Studio: Image Entertainment
Director: Lowell Dean
Writer: Lowell Dean
Producer: Deborah Marks, Hugh Patterson, Bernie Hernando
Stars: Leo Fafard, Yannick Bisson, Amy Matysio, Sara Miller, Devery Jacobs, Kris “The Raven” Blackwell, Warren Bates, Jonathan Cherry
WolfCop teams with new and familiar allies to destroy shapeshifters after uncovering a plot to take over Woodhaven through a peculiar new beer.
If “Another WolfCop” weren’t a sequel, there’s a chance I might get on its case for being too crass, too crude, too campy, and too cartoonish with its over-the-top absurdity. Since it is a sequel, such statements would make me a hypocrite considering I accused the original “WolfCop” (review here) of not making its crazy concept even crazier with balls-through-the-wall outrageousness.
Be careful what you wish for, because writer/director Lowell Dean turned the tables by daring me right back to put a wet tongue on a cold flagpole of midnight movie madness. Just as superhero movies such as “Superman II,” “Batman Returns,” or “Captain America: Winter Soldier” improve on their predecessors when no longer burdened by origin story obligations, “Another WolfCop” unleashes its momentum to flow freely in raging rapids of energetically irreverent insanity. And its wild raft loads up on everything from human-on-werewolf sex montages to sentient mutant appendages that may or may not be male sex organs too.
The shapeshifting villains of “WolfCop” have progressed from backwoods cult to an interdimensional Legion of Doom organizing a conspiracy of Conal Cochran proportions. Billionaire businessman Sydney Swallows sold interim mayor Bubba Rich on a plan to revitalize the hick burg of Woodhaven by reopening the brewery and bringing in a new hockey team to boot. That’s all well and good until it comes out that Swallows’ new Chicken Milk stout actually impregnates residents with reptilian creatures.
Luckily, WolfCop is on the case and unleashing more fur-and-fang fury than ever before. WolfCop has help in the form of old allies like Tina, who is now the acting Chief of Police, and Willie, who doesn’t let something as minor as being murdered in the first film keep him from making a creative comeback here. Forced to face a Frankenstein beast and a Terminator henchwoman in addition to their usual enemies, the team recruits two rookie deputies and Willie’s sexy sister Kat, who hides an occult-related secret of her own, as reinforcements.
Like “It’s a Wonderful Life” is to Christmas, “Another WolfCop” makes an unimpeachable argument for becoming the go-to movie of choice at any annual Canada Day celebration. “Another WolfCop” has to be the most overtly Canuck comedy that doesn’t include a McKenzie brother, sending up stereotypical great white north staples like hockey, beer drinking, the national anthem, even a cameo from honorary citizen Kevin Smith as a corrupt politician. Only Justin Trudeau in a mountie hat riding a moose could take the good-humored satire further, and no one should be surprised to see Lowell Dean take things there on the next go.
“Another WolfCop” gets away with such nuttiness because sincere style makes up for much of the story’s slimness. No matter how silly a setup is, the cinematic side of things takes each scene seriously, which was also true of the first film. Small jokes make their way into background scenery. Lighting drips with comic book colors. The camera carefully considers angles and editing cuts shots with a mind for careful timing. These WolfCop movies wouldn’t work if they were sloppy, and they definitely do not take technical execution lightly.
That said, the low-budget rears its ugly head in instances like an awful arena sign made with CGI or the obvious lack of extras filling that supposedly packed arena with what look likes two dozen people tops. “Another WolfCop’s” issues are mostly confined to how sparse it seems in certain places, with the overall stitching showing some of those holes. Although a lot of material is packed inside, the film only runs 70 minutes without credits. That rush is felt in a clunky ending that comes with a realization that several characters, WolfCop included, don’t get as much attention as they deserve.
One could argue that coming away wanting more might be what the cast and crew intends. A counterpoint would contend that “Another WolfCop” cuts more corners than feels right for a complete film, hampering its sense of lasting satisfaction.
But the freedom to have more flippant fun still translates into a goofy and gory good time. Returning actors are clearly more comfortable in their characters, which comes from an increased understanding for the precise type of tone director Lowell Dean means for them to tune into. After “WolfCop,” I had only a passively amused interest in this sequel. But if Dean and company continue turning up the heat on this brand of charming comedic carnage, count me in for part three and beyond.
NOTE: There is a mid-credits scene.
Review Score: 75