Werewolf movies are traditionally about the beast within, but the adversaries in David Hayter’s Wolves are strictly external. With its outsider protagonist defending a rural town against a menacing gang of thugs, the film is built on the classic foundation of a western — it feels a little like Road House in Teen Wolf drag.
Cayden (Lucas Till), on the run for wolfing out and slaughtering his family, heads to the secret werewolf community of Lupine Ridge to understand his condition. The Ridge, however, is run by badass alpha male Connor (Jason Momoa), whose demands on the town’s peaceable werewolves are becoming increasingly onerous. The rote setup especially shows its age in the treatment of Angelina (Merritt Patterson), Cayden’s love interest.
Her wolf form is sturdy enough for a lupine sex scene, but when she’s attacked by Connor’s pack she’s helpless as a kitten, needing Cayden to save her. All the local wolves, in fact, defer to the inexperienced Cayden — including his mentor, played by Stephen McHattie, who gamely shoulders what little gravitas this story has.
If you’re in the bag for werewolves (or have a thing for hairy dudes smoking distinctive pipes), Wolves is a beckoning howl in the night. As an action movie, however, it’s surprisingly tame.