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DVD Review

DVD cover

Sea Wolf


Starring: Tim Roth, Neve Campbell, Sebastian Koch and Stephen Campbell Moore
Showbox Home Entertainment
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 15
Available 11 April 2011

Humphrey Van Weyden (Stephen Campbell Moore) lives a sheltered life as a literary critic. All this changes one day when he tries to come to the rescue of a young woman, Maud Brewster (Neve Campbell). In distress, attacked and falling off the liner he was travelling on, Weyden gets rescued by the vicious Wolf Larsen. At the same time, by a twist of fate, a young woman of his acquaintance takes ship with Wolf's brother Death Larsen. The two are caught up in the bitter feud between the brothers; one that looks like it may end in the death of one or both...

Sea Wolf (2009) is a made for television version of the famous Jack London novel. The show was directed by Mike Barker from an adaptation by Nigel Williams and if you like grim faced men being grim for nearly three hours then this could be for you. The story has been filmed numerous times since its publication, a testament to its popularity.

The plot follows Weyden as he comes under the protection of Wolf Larson, a hard man who has little time for Weyden’s fey ways. In this the story is very much about Weyden’s transition from being a kept, but lost, man to becoming a man strong and confident enough to determine his own destiny. Of course, given the age of the story, our hero gets his gal.

The problem with the adaptation is really a fault with the original novel, in that; the love story isn’t as interesting as the feud between the two, equally brutal, brothers. Sebastian Koch (Wolf) was justifiably nominated for his powerful performance of a man who seems to have no redeeming qualities and because of something that happened between the brothers does not see any in himself. Chasing him across the ocean with murder in mind Tim Roth (Death) tries to keep up with Koch and although he undoubtedly put in a good performance, he can’t match the power of Koch’s presence on the screen. This also leaves the other two main characters fighting to do more than just react to Wolf’s domination of his crew and their destiny.

The picture is pretty good with only the occasional hint of dodgy CGI, sad to say that the only extra on the disc is the show's trailer.

Overall it is a good production of a classic novel, with all the originals strengths and weaknesses and a powerful central performance by Koch.


Charles Packer

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