Alpha (2018) – An Ice Age adventure; a tale of boy and wolf


Albert Hughes’ ‘Alpha’ tells an interesting story based on 20,000 years back in the last Ice Age when humans were living as hunter-gatherers. This epic adventure follows a small nomadic tribe but focuses more on a boy and a wolf, thereby bring the story of a man and his best friend.

With amazing visuals that not only looks beautiful but dangerous, this Late Stone Age wilderness survivalist epic ‘Alpha’, guides us to southwestern Europe to meet a young boy named Keda and one of Cro-Magnon tribes led by his father Tau.

The film has not shown much on the tribal lifestyle (only glimpses of their rituals and custom) as it was obvious and evident. Nevertheless, father Tau has high expectations from his son to lead the tribe but Keda is sensitive enough to not even hurt an animal – an unlikely characteristic of that age.

As their clan sets out for a hunting expedition to hunt and gather food for the upcoming treacherous winter, Keda finds this new challenging job life-threatening. In the middle of the expedition, he is attacked by bison and thrown out from a nearby cliff only to land on a high face of the rock with no consciousness. His chieftain father shouts and cries but has no way to retrieve his son. Believing his son is dead, he mourns and eventually leaves his son.

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Keda, however, was not dead and woke up to find himself fighting for survival in a harsh and unforgiving landscape. As a pack of wolves attacks Keda, he injures one of those and saves himself by climbing on a tree. Later, driven by his nature, he nurses the wolf back to health and named him Alpha. There, the story moves up in the ladder as we see the man and animal befriend and they both fight the way out in a perilous journey back to home.

Watch the movie trailer for ‘Alpha’

‘Alpha’ is an epic survival and coming-of-age story where the director Albert Hughes keeps everything simple without many melodramatic elements. Moreover, we don’t see any gore scene, and this makes it even watchable for the kids.

As far as performance is concerned, lead actor Kodi Smit-McPhee as Keda has delivered an amazing act. His expression with some type of ice age native ‘super language’ makes it even credible and believable. Yes, the movie has the English subtitle for us to follow.

The cinematography is impressive as the camera very nicely captures the harsh wilderness and deadly winter in the vast snowy landscape. ‘Alpha’, however, seems a little longer in duration that could have been managed with better pacing of narration.

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All in all, ‘Alpha’ is a wonderful movie to watch for its interesting story and compelling performance from its lead actor. Lastly, if you’re a dog-lover, please watch this, as the film very nicely depicts the heartwarming bonding between the man and his best friend.

Movie synopsis and other details

Synopsis: An epic adventure set in the last Ice Age, ALPHA tells a fascinating, visually stunning story that shines a light on the origins of man’s best friend. While on his first hunt with his tribe’s most elite group, a young man is injured and must learn to survive alone in the wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before winter arrives.

Kodi Smit-McPhee as ‘Keda’ and his pet wolf in the prehistoric epic adventure ‘Alpha.’

Director: Albert Hughes
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Leonor Varela
Genres: Action, Adventure
Release Date/Year: August 17, 2018
Streaming Service: Amazon Prime

A full-time movie geek and part time e-learning professional. He loves to read, write and discuss in length about cinema and the art of filmmaking.

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