Alpha and Omega Anthony Bell & Ben Gluck

Alpha and Omega Anthony Bell & Ben Gluck
One of the posters for Alpha and Omega shows animated leading wolf lady Kate (voiced by Hayden Panettiere) posed flirtatiously with the phrase, "grrrl power" emblazoned above her. Moving past the bizarre sexualizing of a talking cartoon animal, I'm not sure that passive objectivity qualifies as "grrrl power," nor do I think misspelling the world "girl" is particularly clever, unless sending the message of illiteracy and superficial CW trending is the sort of thing with which we want to placate our children. It does represent this bland, cookie cutter film about flipping the bird to tradition quite well, however.

The aforementioned Kate is an Alpha, meaning she's a member of the elite: a hunter for the pack trained to take down caribou, providing for the rest of the wolves. Alphas don't mate with Omegas, which is a bit of a barrier given the budding romance between her and lowly Omega Humphrey (Justin Long). To boot, there's a territory war between their pack and another that can only be resolved by the marriage of Kate to meathead Garth (Chris Carmack), sating the traditional needs of counter-pack leader Tony (Dennis Hopper).

Aside from some weirdly misplaced sexual innuendo and a trippy drug sequence after the lead characters are shot with tranquilizers, that's all there is. Because this is a 3D movie, most of the screen time is spent on lingering depth shots and characters slowly flying through the air towards the camera, which is fine, but the accompanying animation isn't particularly groundbreaking.

In fact, almost everything about Alpha and Omega feels slightly dated, from its reverse gender role construct of man as sloppy, obnoxious weakling to its tepid, Neo-liberal political subtext. As well, there's nothing here for adults, leaving only easily amused children to learn the valuable lesson that arranged marriage is bad.

Oh, and there's a French-Canadian buzzard, or goose, or something, which plays golf and makes jokes about cupcakes. Genius. (Maple)