Suddenly Alpha feels very much inspired by something much newer than the old tales that seemed to have inspired it...
Part of me loves this, and part of me hates it. The Mowgli here isn't the same as the old one. He looks weak... but he roars better. A part of the basis for the movie is his overcoming obstacles and learning who he is, so in that regard the weakness feels merited, but at the same time you'd think the jungle would've made him stronger.
His trials are something the old movie left for later, and this one has a darker tone that way too. There's a lot more focus on death, to overcome or else, whereas the old one was just a lot of fun, even if some of it was exciting too. It played with the surrounding, explored it and portrayed it in imaginative and enclosing ways, whereas this one seems to try to capture the most fearful or pompous sides of it - even if those sides aren't the most realistic, all the while portraying the animals in animated states that I just wish they'd kept real!
The albino wolf in particular is so Gollum-like in both appearance and act that it's just wrong, and though there is blood and grit involved all animals come across way too cartoony. Especially the wolves.
But Cyber, you say, wasn't the original one drawn too? Isn't this just like the original? Well it might have been if it was all animated, but when they bring together two worlds like this and just don't manage to make that bridge it comes off so... off.
It did bring me in eventually, and hold the suspense well. It left me feeling, and yet the animated details just irked me until the very end. There's too much fakeness. The law of the jungle seems to demand something more down-to-Earth than this.
Are tame animals too dangerous to use these days? The old movie was definitely the winner in my book here, even if this was a strong and dark, deep, jungle contender.
It's cool that they're bringing all these old titles back to life lately, I just wish they'd do a better job at it when they do.
rated 3/5: not bad