During the Midnight Madness announcements for TIFF this year, I immediately gravitated my interest towards Project Wolf Hunting for one reason: It was described as “Con Air meets Resident Evil.” I had never been more sold on a movie in my life. I can confidently say the movie delivers on that description, almost to a fault.
The plot of Project Wolf Hunting starts off very straight forward: A group of fugitives are caught in the Philippines and are set to be extradited to South Korea. After an attempt to send them by air goes wrong via bombing, instead they are to be shipped over through a massive cargo freighter. Partway through the trip, the criminals break out and launch into an all-out war against the multitude of cops and detectives also on board. Where the switch flips is at the halfway point. Unbeknownst to the cops or criminals, there is a stowaway who is more than content to slaughter everyone it comes across.
Right off the bat: I will definitely state that if you are in any way squeamish, this is not the movie for you. Project Wolf Hunting is easily on par with the Evil Dead series or early Peter Jackson flicks in the amount of blood that’s shed here. It feels like director Kim Hong-sun refused to let the movie go more than 5 minutes without somebody spilling literal gallons of blood. The movie hurtles along at a relentless pace for 2 hours, which ties into the movie’s greatest strength and biggest weakness.
Early on, the film sets up numerous characters on both sides of the law, like the sociopathic criminal leader (Seo In-guk) or the mysterious rookie detective (Jung So-min).
“Project Wolf Hunting is easily on par with the Evil Dead series or early Peter Jackson flicks in the amount of blood that’s shed here.”
However, all of that development goes out the window once the stowaway comes into play and the movie immediately switches from an action flick to a slasher. Project Wolf Hunting embraces the “Don’t get attached” mentality more than most movies of its kind I’ve seen in the last several years.
On one hand, there’s a nice bit of unpredictability in terms of who you think will actually make it to the end. On the other hand, it’s frustrating when some of the characters who have the most personality or development don’t even make it to the halfway mark and you’re stuck with some less interesting characters in the meantime.
Also, the level of carnage on display is impressively high, but with that 2 hour runtime, some kills start to feel a bit repetitive by the end. There’s only so many times you see someone get stomped in the chest before you start checking your watch. There are some hilariously creative kills spaced throughout (like one guy getting beaten to death with his own arm), but some of it comes a little too late.
Overall, I had a fun time with Project Wolf Hunting. It really feels as if Mr. X from the Resident Evil 2 Remake got dropped in the middle of a game of Call of Duty and just ran wild with it. If you can stomach the extreme violence, grab your friends and some drinks, and you’ll have a blast.