The Wolfs Call 2019 Movie Scene The submarine surfacing with the helicopter hovering over it

Le Chant du Loup AKA The Wolf’s Call [2019]

What was the last good submarine movie you saw? Was it The Hunt for The Red October or perhaps Crimson Tide? Or are you a fan of the ones with numbers in titles like U-571 or K-19: The Widowmaker? Whichever one you pick, you’ll be picking a movie that’s at least fifteen years old. The Wolf’s Call is a modern submarine movie taking place in the near future and following a guy trying to prevent the next world war. Only in a French movie would a guy who has great hearing and listens to things for a living would be the hero of the story. I say that as a compliment, just to be clear.

So, if you’re expecting a blockbuster with a muscular guy shooting stuff from a submarine you won’t find it here. Although that’s exactly what happens at the start of this movie. But that’s just a hook to keep you watching. This is a technical thriller more focused on the suspenseful atmosphere than on the shootouts. In that sense, it reminds me of another peculiar French thriller Black Box AKA Boite Noire. The production values are excellent along with special effects. And some of the scenes were shot on actual submarines. Of course, this wouldn’t be a French thriller if someone didn’t smoke some weed in bed, that’s just compulsory now.

Director and writer Antonin Baudry spent a decent amount of time aboard an actual submarine, trying to avoid stereotypes and get a feel for the crew. The attention to detail was extraordinary and it will help you to immerse yourself into this strange world. And you will need some help with that as you’ll need to suspend your belief before diving into this one. I’m talking about decision-making and character development. You can almost watch The Wolf’s Call as a movie so bad that it’s good, almost. The script was otherwise okay, elevated by excellent performances. We’ve got charming Omar Sy, experienced Reda Kateb, and none other than director Mathieu Kassovitz (La HaineThe Crimson Rivers). François Civil was also great as Chanteraide, our main character. 

French submarine Titan is on an undercover mission near Tartus, Syria when it encounters a strange anomaly. Chanteraide, an officer specializing in underwater acoustics, hears something odd on the sonar. Something he hasn’t heard before. And just moments later, the enemy learns of their position. It would appear that there’s another submarine near them but they can’t locate it. However, this is just the beginning of their problems.

The Wolf’s Call is a perfect escapist experience although now, in 2024, it has a more ominous vibe than it did back in 2019. You see, this is a movie where Russia decides to invade Finland, dragging France into a nuclear war. Hopefully, we won’t all have to die in a nuclear apocalypse in the real world. I don’t what’s worse, dying in that first blast or surviving and then living in a post-apocalyptic world. Well, at least we’ve seen enough post-apocalyptic movies to prepare us for that.

Finally, if you’re looking for similar but more believable movies I first suggest you check out Black Box. It’s another French technical thriller, this time following a black box expert trying to figure out how a brand new airplane crashed. And if you want to stay deep underwater, take a look at Below, also taking place aboard the submarine. 

Director: Antonin Baudry

Writer: Antonin Baudry

Cast: François Civil, Omar Sy, Mathieu Kassovitz, Reda Kateb, Paula Beer, Alexis Michalik

Fun Facts: The call of the wolf is a term used in the navy indicating that the submarine is detected and targeted.


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