Movie Title: Le pacte des loups (The Brotherhood of the Wolf)
Date Released: January 31st, 2001 (France)
Date Seen: Finally finished on September 23rd, 2012
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
This took me a while to watch. It ended up being decent, and might be a good watch if you’re in the mood for a French movie. The Beast is pretty cool when you do eventually see it. I didn’t see the ending coming, but mostly because I wasn’t paying that much attention or caring that much to even think about it. I just wanted more. There was a whole lot of awkward flirting that really put me off of the main character, so that might have been part of why it took me forever to watch it. I don’t know, I just didn’t care for it that much. Some shots were great, but overall, meh.
Part 2 – In-Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
The movie opens with some narration and then us witnessing a woman being attacked by a creature. The narrator explains that since 1764 ‘The Beast’ has been in their land, Gevaudan making life hell. We then flash to what I think must be a few years later, and some men in makeup beating up an old man and a woman. Two men o horses with their faces covered pull up. The make-up men ask who they are and try to attack. One man gets off his horse and easily takes out the entire lot of the make-up men. It’s a very nice rainy fight scene. It looks straight out of a video game cut scene. And I’m ok with that. The other man gets off his horse and asks one of the makeup men what the old man did to deserve being beat up. The man says that the old man is a theif and the woman is a witch. The old man and woman say that he is a healer and the make-up men paid him to heal his horses. Turns out… he did heal their horses so the masked men takes money off the make-up man and gives it to the old man. They leave, but not without the daughter and the other masked men sharing a “later we’re going to do it” look at each other. As the masked men ride off, a make-up man yells “Welcome to the land of the beast…”
The narrator reveals the two masked men as being knight Gregoire de Fronsac (Samuel le Bihan) and his companion Mani (Mark Dacascos). Gregoire is a naturalist and taxidermist (according to the narrator) and has a reputation for being awesome. No one knows anything about Mani, because he is a foreigner. They arrive at the castle of Marquis d’Apcher (Hans Meyer) who is allowing them to stay there until their “mission” is over. Thomas d’Apcher (Jeremie Renier), the Marquis’s grandson explains about the beast, how it is no normal wolf, and he has a record kept of all the attacks – victims and survivors. They also reveal that they have opened a hospital in an old priory – and they can hear the screams of a woman who had half her face ripped off by the beat (probably the woman from the beginning). Thomas takes Gregoire to his room, and starts to show Mani to the servants quarters, but Gregoire says that Mani will just stay and sleep on the couch.
The next morning, Gregoire is talking to a boy who was attacked. You can barely see a big wound on the side of his face. He describes the beast as bigger than any wolf he’s ever seen… and that it wasn’t a wolf… it was something else. Gregoire asks then what was it… and the boy answers “a demon.” Then Thomas storms in announcing that a girl has just been attacked. They arrive at the scene and the girl is naked and half in some water. Before Gregoire can start looking at the body, Capitane Duhamel (Eric Prat) arrives. He at first yells at them but then realize that Thomas is there. Thomas introduces Gregoire, saying he works for the King’s Royal Gardens (because he does). Duhamel says he, Gregoire, must be the man who beat up his men yesterday. He (Duhamel) is very glad that Gregoire did this because the men weren’t acting on orders and were being stupid. Gregoire then goes to investigate the body, with Duhamel warning him to watch out because there are “wolf traps” (bear traps) everywhere and the “girl has been filled with poison.” Gregoire gets that from the bite marks, the beast must weigh around 500 lbs. Duhamel says he wouldn’t be surprised – he saw the beast once, shot it, and it fell, but immediately picked itself back up and ran off. Gregoire shows Duhamel a sketch he made of what he thinks the beast looks like – Duhamel adds a detail saying that he had a black stripe.
The next scene is Gregoire meeting with all the big-whigs. Counts, countesses, their son, Jean-Francios (Vincent Cassel), a bishop or something, etc. He is showing them his drawings and says he intends to try and kill/capture the victim. Outside, Gregoire sets his “I want to bang you” sites on Marianne de something something (Emilie Dequenne). She is the sister of Jean-Francois and the daughter of the count/countess. Gregoire “saves” her from some awkward play write, hits on her, and then they hear the dinner bell. They go to a super fancy dinner. Gregoire is telling stories, that no one believes about a furry trout, and Mani is right there to show proof. Only Jean-Francios calls him out on his rouse. Gregoire says that the creature does not exist, the furry trout Mani showed them is just clever embalming and playing with the dead. Marianne asks if the point of this charade was to imply that the beast doesn’t really exist and that their town is full of idiots. Gregoire says it is only to suggest that sometimes things are exaggerated and that dragons and unicorns only exist in fairy tales and poems. There is also some more awkward Marianne and Gregoire flirting.
The next day, the narrator says that that day there was the largest hunt ever for the beast. Everyone (literally hundreds of men) are getting ready. Mani has another encounter with the woman from the beginning of the movie (that they saved from being beat up and that he smiled at). Then two guys come up and grab her, they make out, and pointed out something on his belt. I couldn’t tell what it was. I suppose maybe later I’ll find out. The men then start a fight with Mani. He kicks their asses. Hardcore. The woman is watching the fight going on and laughing, until her father shows up. Next two women (?) start trying to fight Mani (why? just seemed to be like a fight club type thing). He kicks their asses. Then it’s 4 men with those things the men pointed at on their belts – they’re like a big brass knuckles, but instead of knuckles it has two big knives on it. One guy starts to unfairly go after Mani, and Jean-Francois shoots him in the hand with his cool specialty made gun (because he doesn’t have a right hand, forgot to mention that). The old man from the beginning of the movie brings his daughter to Jean-Francois and Gregoire and says that she started the fight, so punish her. About that time, the woman starts to have (what we know) is a seizure. Everyone else yells that she is possessed, and the father starts saying that she is not. Gregoire says “he knows” and instructs him to keep her from swallowing her tongue. Then, the hunt begins, with Marianne showing up at the last moment to disobey her mother and have fun on the hunt – by making sexy eyes at Gregoire. Marianne and Gregoire go on a ride through the woods, while Jean-Francois tells his father that eventually they’ll need to teach her to ride like a lady…. the father’s like “meh.” It’s pretty funny.
At the end of the ride Mani appears as well. Apparently he was stalking them. They’re at some old burned down chapel. Mani says he can tell people died there because he can “hear their cries”. Gregoire shurgs it off saying it’s obvious people died here. Back on the hunt, it’s basically a super unfair wolf hunt and yet the hundreds of men versus like 5 wolves still manage to miss a few. At the chapel, the three are just hanging out, and a lone white wolf shows up. It observes them, and Marianne is about to shoot it, but Gregoire pushes her gun away. She gets annoyed at him for doing that. Mani thanks Gregoire for doing that. Back with all the men, there are TONS of dead wolfs. Gregoire says he hopes, for the Captains sake, that the “beast” was one of those (although Gregoire doesn’t think so). Mani is clearly upset/annoyed and rides off. Gregoire says that Mani is from the Iroquois tribe. The men ask him to bring Mani to something tonight, it will be “fun with your valet”. Gregorie says he’s not his valet – Mani is his brother. That night, as they dine and skin/clean the animals, Gregoire tells them how Mani saved his life in America fighting the English. The count (Marianne and Jean-Francois’ dad) is rude and ignorant asking Mani things like “can you bear children with a white woman?” and Mani says “they’re all the same color in the dark.” Jean-Francois thinks it’s amusing. He’s clearly racist, making more black jokes as well. Gregoire explains more about the Indian beliefs – like that of animal spirits. Mani tells various people what their spirt is. The captain is a bull, the count is a caribou, Thomas a serpent (in Indian culture it represents wisdom), and then Jean-Francois comes up. He keeps saying “what am I ? A half ___? A half ___? Can I be a lizard to grow my hand back?” He’s intoxicated. Gregoire asks Marianne to do it but she says she’s had enough of his games and goes to bed.
After leaving the animal cleaning/dinner thing, Thomas takes Mani and Gregoire to a whore house. It was a cool scene watching Gregoire walk through it, because we see the whore house from the point of view of Gregoire. He makes it to the back of the room and finds a woman in a mask, an Italian woman, who is very pretty and very mysterious, named Sylvia (Monica Bellucci). She is very costly – but of course Gregoire has to have her. As the woman is on top of Gregoire, she asks him about his scars (an arrow near his heart, a bear scratch), and then pulls out a knife, stabs him “lovingly” with it and says “something to remember me by” as she licks the blood off the sword. That got kinky fast. Then outside we hear a commotion. One of the girls is refusing to sleep with Mani, a “sorcerer”. She says he has snakes on his body and she saw them move. We see him and they are tattoos. Thomas and Gregoire just laugh at the woman and the madame of the house says she’ll give the girl who sleeps with him double. They have a reputation to uphold. A girl does, and goes in there, and there’s a little movement/look of excitement to suggest he’s got a big dick.
Now we go to winter – the narrator explains people are still dying so clearly the beast was not killed. We listen to a very bleak and depressing church service (so like a normal service.. ha I’m bad) – and also at the same time witness the beginning of a beast attack. At the church, a man comes barging in screaming for mercy and forgiveness. The church dude (ok yeah obvious I’m not religious) asks the man what is wrong, and the man explains that his children disappeared in the forest. Everyone leaves the church, with Gregoire telling the Marquis to gather his men and Mani. Gregoire though runs after Marianne first. He gives Marianne a pretty drawing he made of her and asks to see her alone. She says in 10 days both her parents are gone. Gregoire’s penis is clearly unhappy with it but oh well. On the beast hunt, the men go to where the children were last seen – near the entrance of some cave. Fleetingly for a second we see the woman from the beginning of the movie run back into the cave moments before the men appear. The men go inside the cave (but Mani goes investigating something outside). In the cave they find a body. It’s the son of the man and it’s clearly been torn up. The men want to turn back but Gregoire says they must find the girl. Outside, Mani has been led to a rabbit hole by a wolf. Inside, he finds the missing girl. All the men on are amazed.
Next day, the big whigs are bitching at the Captain. Mostly because the hunt didn’t kill the beast and because the beast traps have killed more peasants than even animals. Jean-Francois asks Gregoire what he thinks. Gregoire says he thinks it’s not an animal doing the killing – because no beast he’s ever met could inflict the wounds made on the victims. He also found a “metal tooth” in the body of the child they just found. So he thinks it’s something else…. Jean-Francois is like “ok. cool.” The count then reads a letter from the King that dismisses the Captain from his duties. He also says that the king is sending a Monsieur Beauterne (Johan Leysen), the king’s master-at-arms to kill the “ferocious wolf”. So he’s still calling it a wolf.
Now, back to awkward flirting between Marianne in ridiculous outfits and Gregoire’s penis doing all the talking. But don’t worry, the priest is there to keep a close eye over the two. So, since Gregoire can’t get it in with Marianne, he goes and sees his favorite whore, Sylvia. She knows that he likes Marianne – and says that Jean-Francois basically said the same thing last night (that Jean-Francois knows Gregoire wants to bang Marianne). He was there the night before, doing what he normal does, getting shit faced, smoking, and watching the girls. That night, Sylvia slips Gregoire some poison (after making some poison comments) that causes him to trip out and have a vison of her stabbing him. He gets up in time to see Beauteerne enter into town. Gregoire meets with him, while he takes a bath. He thinks the Beast is a wolf and that Gregoire is just exaggerating everything. He is planning on going out tomorrow, without Gregoire, and killing the beast. He also gives Gregoire a letter from the king, although we don’t see what it says yet.
That night, the priest sees Mani jumping into the ward where the victims are held. He is doing something over the girl they most recently found. We know from Gregoire, that Mani is like a shitan/indian doctor/something so he’s probably just trying to heal him. Gregoire is reading over his notes, and then Thomas rushes in saying that things are bad. The priest and other men are saying that Mani was poisoning her. Gregoire goes over to the girl and says it’s just an Indian remedy – and about that time, a “miracle” happens and the girl wakes up. The girl tells the story of what happened to her (but we see it rather than hear it). She ran,saw something attacking her brother, it’s like a weird wolf/porcupine looking thing, and then a person with a scary mask on or scary face pointing the beast at the girl, ie telling it to attack her next. The girl ran and hid in the rabbit hole. A number of the men listening to the story say the girl must be delusional – because there’s no way there was a man with the beast.
The next day, we learn that Beauterne has supposedly killed the beast. Gregoire is supposed to preform and autopsy on it. He gets down there and finds just a normal wolf. Beauterne explains that he knows it’s not the beast – but the King has ordered Gregoire to “make a beast”. So basically, shut the townspeople up and make the king look good. While this conversation is going on Mani is touching the dead wolf. Gregoire is clearly upset but goes about the task of “making a beast”. I found this scene disgusting, but still acceptable. He’s really just mostly doing a standard taxidermy job – but he has to make it more awesome. It was just kind of gross.
That night, Sylvia asks Gregoire why he is so unhappy. He almost immediately tells Sylvia about “his betrayal”. Outside in the halls of the whorehouse, we see a first person view of someone going into the whorehouse, and taking a drawing of Sylvia that Gregoire had drawn of her naked. The next day, Gregoire goes to visit Marianne. Turns out, Jean-Francois stole it and showed it to Marianne, who is now super upset and thinks that Gregoire is a douche. Really Jean-Francois just never wants his sister to leave him is why he did it. But everyone in the castle is pissed at him. Next we see Beauterne presenting the “beast” to some big whigs. Greogire storms in asking Monsieur du Buffon what’s the deal with this whole thing. He says he’s just carrying out orders from Monsieur Mercier (Bernard Fresson), Special Counsel to His majesty in charge of internal affairs. He basically gives him the “if you keep quiet about this thing, we’ll send you to Africa!” (which is Gregoire’s dream). They all know people will keep dying, but apparently all that matters is that the king looks good and no one ever hears of the beast again. So a whole big cover up. 😦
Back in Gevaudan, we see a pretty woman walking behind her dog, to find a lost baby goat. It’s stuck in a kind of marsh. She crabs it, and then hears like a dog whistle type sound, and then beast noises. She immediately knows what’s up. She lets the baby goat go and starts to try to climb back up to where her dog was (ie out of the marsh). Sadly she’s all wet now, and it was all muddy anyway – and so she slips and falls. We slow motion see her freak out and see a glimpse of the “jaws” of the beast attack her. Then kind of see the beast attack her. Still that weird porcupine back thing on a wolf. It just looks odd. But we never get a good look at it. That’d be too easy. In church, Marianne is praying at some altar, and Sylvia comes up dressed in a wig and tells Marianne that Gregoire has only ever loved her (Marianne). She then leaves, telling Marianne to never say anything to Gregoire about this meeting. At some docks, we see Gregoire getting ready (presumably) for his Africa trip. Thomas comes to visit and is trying to convince Gregoire and Mani to come back. He said the attacks have continued but the king does nothing. Thomas wants to attempt a hunt just one more time – this time, listening to Mani. Gregoire says there’s no way he’s going back, especially since the king has forbid them from returning to Gevaudan. Thomas pulls out his secret weapon – a letter from Marianne – and so Gregoire is convinced to go back.
They get to the outskirts of town and are already greeted by the white wolf. Mani says it’s there to help them. Mani goes off with Thomas to organize the hunt – while Gregoire makes a detour. He is going through a more deserted poor part of town, and it’s dark and scary. We do see something, the Beast, appear to be stalking Gregoire. Gregoire arrives at his destination – the house of Marianne’s nanny – where Marianne is waiting for him. The nanny sends her husband out for wine and Gregoire can hardly keep his dick in his pants. Marianne says she thinks her mother is having her watched, and she wants to leave. Gregoire says “next week – cause I’m gonna go hunting!” About that time, from the basement, the beast attacks the nanny’s husband. Down there, it knocks over some support beams as well. The beast jumps up and starts attacking the three inside. Gregoire tries to hold it off. This is the best glimpse we have of the Beast. It still looks like a wolf in shape, but bigger, and has like porcupine spikes off it’s back. And instead of skin or fur, to me it looks like… tendons kind of. But they’re hard. A gloser look makes them look like sticks or wood or something. The beast corners Marianne but doesn’t eat her. It kind of stares at her. And here, it appears that the beast is an animal… in a suit. Doesn’t make sense unless you see it. But you can see at one point soft fur and an eye peering out of the more scary shell. And it looks calmly at Marianne. About that time, some townsmen break the door down and all see the Beast. We see the person controlling the beast use its whistle and call it back to him/her. It’s hand is gross and disgusting, looks old, long nails.
The next morning, Thomas, Mani, and Gregoire are doing some practice shooting. Gregoire uses guns, Thomas a crossbow, and Mani prefers his tomahawk. Of course. Gregoire says he knows the creature has a master and that’s who he’d rather go after than the beast itself. There’s also mention of some book, that supposedly undermines the King. IT says the beast was sent as a test to the king, or something like that. But they’ve been banned and mostly burned. So now, the Marquis hugs Thomas and then the three men go off on a hunt. We see the men ride off. Next we flash to an interesting scene. We see the old man and his daughter from the beginning of the movie. They are at some type of dog-fighting thing with the creepy looking men (and others) that attacked Mani. We see a dog lick the old man’s hand – so we know he is not the person controlling the Beast. The daughter goes over to the ring and gets excited (see her hand as well, they’re pretty). Then we see the gross hand that controls the Beast, pull a lever and unleash the Beast into the ring. It massacres the 4 dogs quickly. It also gives you the sense that this happens a lot, because no one else is surprised when the beast comes into the ring. So that group of people must know about it.
Back in the forest, Thomas asks Gregoire about Mani and America (Mani is off talking to trees). We find out that Gregoire’s old army captain was a despicable man. He fought his battles by selling small-pox infected sheets to the Indians, waiting for the majority to die, and then going in and killing the rest. They kept Mani as an interpreter – and Mani ended up killing the captain. Gregoire never turned in Mani for doing that because he (Gregoire) also hated the captain for his methods. Mani returns and asks Thomas if he wants to learn to speak to the trees as well. He gives Thomas an “indian sacrament” that will “allow him to see what others cannot”. Ie a hallucinogen. That night, Mani does an Indian chant and dance and the wolves “lead them to the beast”. Thomas pretty much passed out from the drug. Gregoire gets him up as the beast comes over the hill. Mani is standing in a kind of valley thing (or just a lower part between some rocks) and Thomas and Gregoire wait with their weapons from above. They manage to capture the beast in a big cage they have built for all about 20 seconds. It charges out and drags Thomas off a ways by the arm. Gregoire shoots it and it comes back and attacks him. Mani lures it to him and hits a thing that makes a giant spikey pendulum fall on the beast. It lunges back towards Thomas, but goes right past him – it is now injured and trying to escape. They have one final wall built, that Gregoire lowers, but the beast runs right through it. Mani goes after the beast by following its blood trail, and Gregoire tends to Thomas.
Mani finds a weird cave that has some wooden dummies in the entrance – and then the dogs from the dog fights we saw earlier. Mani sees the old man from the beginning of the movie closing a cage door above the beast. Mani gets up and sees all the weird dog-fighting people behind him. They still have those same stupid weapons they used earlier in the movie the first time they fought Mani (at the first hunt). Mani kicks their asses. He has all the men knocked out and then the woman from the beginning runs up to stab him. He pushes her against a while but doesn’t do anything. Then someone shoots him from the back – the man person thing that controls the beast. Mani is wounded and can’t move, but sees the man thing. The other men grab Mani and just toss him over some cliff in the forest, which he rolls down and then is lying bleeding in some leaves. But the white wolf is right there by his side. Gregoire finds Mani…….. and he is dead. So Gregoire cries a lot – but takes his body back to the Marquis’s castle and starts to clean it. He takes the bullet out and gets all angry. He is looking at some maps, and asks the Marquis what is at this random certain spot on the map. The marquis says it’s a hunting domain…… and so Gregoire heads out.
He is now dressed in Indian garb as well, with his face painted. He watches from outside the partying going on inside – it’s the dog fighting people. So apparently they’re hunters is what they are. Ok. Gregoire starts a fire in the stables so a number of men come running out. He shoots a few with arrows while they’re vulnerable. With some awesome jumps, backs to walls, and a couple of barrel rolls, Gregoire makes it inside the hunting place. Gregoire takes out every single man he finds. In one room, we do see that here is where they are printing that random book that has been mentioned a couple of times – the book that supposedly undermines the king and mentions the beast or something. But you barely see those. Then back to killing. The woman does try to attack him, but he just knocks her out real quick. Gregoire finds an odd chamber, with candles, writing on the walls, weird bone swords, and other things that are scary. Behind a curtain, Gregoire finds stairs that lead him to the dog fighting cave. There he sees the beast, and also finds a torture device that apparently Mani was on (he has a flashback of seeing Mani on it… so I guess after they shot Mani they must have tortured him? ok…) Gregoire kills another guy down here and then runs out quickly before more people show up.
At the first light of dawn, so pretty much right after that, Gregoire sets Mani’s body on alight in tradition with Indian custom. While this is happening, Sardis comes up and tells Gregoire that he should leave as too much blood has been spilt. Gregoire asks Sardis “how long he has known…” and Sardis says “no one will believe you…”…. So I’m confused. Whatever. Sardis leaves, and then next we see Gregoire picking up Mani’s ashes. Some policemen come up and have orders to arrest Gregoire. Gregoire says that that is ridiculous, and one of the cops knock him out. Next we see a caped figure walking into the jail. It’s Sylvia visiting Gregoire. She asks Gregoire what he knows of the beast. He says it’s an armored animal – that is wounded. He asks Sylvia why the sudden interest in the beast. She starts telling a story, while the prison warden gives him some food: Two years ago Sardis sent a letter to the Pope about a secret society created to defend the word of the Church at all costs – “The Brotherhood”. The Beast is their tool to scare the King into respecting the word of God. The members call themselves the Wolves of God. So Gregoire asks, just a clarifying question – “The Brotherhood works for the church?” and Sylvia explains that now Sardis is high on power and that Rome can’t control him. By now, Gregoire is chocking and getting sick from his food. He realize it’s been poisoned. He asks Sylvia who she works for as she leaves – but she won’t tell him.
Marianne goes to visit Laffont – the man who ordered the arrest of Gregoire. She says there’s no way he should be arrested. He probably just killed those men for killing his friend. Laffont explains that the men murdering a savage is no excuse for spilling christian blood. Marianne asks to visit Gregoire. Laffont says it’s impossible. She goes off saying that she’ll just go request to see him to someone more powerful, in Paris. Laffont explains, that no, Gregoire died in the night. Next we see Marianne looking at the body and extremely upset. Laffont says “oh well, he would have been hanged anyway.” Sardis comes in and tells the girl to get some rest, and then her brother Jean-Francois comes in to take her home. After Jean-Francois and Marianne leaves, Sardis says that Gregoire is starting to smell so they should bury him quickly – in an unmarked grave, of course. They bury him that night. We see a small funeral with some of the townspeople. We see after, Sylvia walk up… with the prison guy and another man… and some shovels. They start to dig Gregoire up.
In the church, we see Jean-Francois confessing to Sardis that he wants Marianne… wants her by his side… and always has visions of her. That’s not creepy at all. The mother happens to be right outside and overhears this. She is in shock. Next we see Sardis bring in Marianne some food – he is going to try and poison her, because she knows to much – and for the threat to go to the king. She wakes up and starts to take a drink of her milk – but Jean-Francois appears from the shadows telling her to not drink it – that they want to kill her. He then gives her the “but I’ll protect you” thing… which he does mean – but he wants her for himself. He starts being super super creepy – and is talking about how bad he wants her – and then goes to show her something that only Sardis and him know about….. he really still does have a hand – and it’s that gross disgusting one we’ve seen controlling the Beast. Marianne kind of realizes what all is going on – and says that the only reason the beast didn’t attack her was because it smelled his (Jean-Francois’) blood. Marianne tries to get away, saying that she’ll tell their father, and he implies that he’s going to kill the father, then pushes her down, and presumably rapes her (while he yells how much he loves her). In the next scene, at one point, we see Thomas and someone else (maybe her father?) come and discover her passed out on the floor of her room.
Near the sketchy dog fighting cave, there is a meeting of the Brotherhood. Sardis and everyone is wearing red robes and weird masks. Sardis is talking about how there will be a new France, because their king sucks and blah blah blah. He says it’s almost time for them to take power. Then he starts reading from some book (probably that random book he keeps mentioning). Gregoire appears above them all, in his Indian garb, and starts calling everyone out – by naming those that are there. Basically all the big whigs (Laffont, Jean-Francois, Sardis, a couple of women), etc. Gregoire jumps down and the hunter people start attacking him, but he kicks their ass. I swear, they’re like a never ending group. More just always appear. Then someone yells “FIRE” and a number of sodiers appear and shoot the hunter people. Someone else yells that they’re all under arrest and a number of people start to run. The woman from the beginning gets away – but Sylvia appears and finds her in the shadows and kills her with a bladed fan. Yes. A fan. With blades.
Back in the sketchy meeting place, Jean-Francois and Gregoire battle. Jean-Francois has his cool bone sword that makes no sense. If he moves it a certain way it comes apart and can be swung around like nunchucks… or it retracts back into the sword and manages to work against a metal sword. Whatever. Gregoire wins. Fyi. The soldier people have all the red-caped losers rounded up. They didn’t manage to find Sardis, but Sylvia explains that no matter where he goes they’ll find him – if the mountains don’t kill him first. We see a couple of minutes later, that even better, a pack of wolves kills him. Gregoire rides back to town – and Thomas catches him to let him know that Marianne is dying. Gregoire makes it there just in time to have her nearly die in his arms – but he revives her with that same medicine Mani used on the little girl. Hooray.
We now are told who the narrator is – old Thomas d’Apcher. Talking about how he remembered all this and wanted to tell his story before time is up (we see old Thomas with a mob outside his house). He says how he remembered when they went to go kill the Beast. It already lay dying, and Gregoire just pet it through the hole in it’s armor. The old man (from the beginning of the movie that they saved) explains what he knew – the Beast was something that Jean-Francois brought back with him from Africa. It had cubs. Jean-Francois kept the strongest and trained it. So the Beast was a lion. Gregoire shot it to take it out of its misery. We see old Thomas again, walking out to the mob outside his house embracing his death. Why there was a mob? Doesn’t say. Probably something about how there’s a new France, or poor people just tearing down the rich, whatever. Don’t know don’t care.
It took me three weeks to watch this movie. I got bored. It was alright. The effects sucked. Maybe watch it if you like french movies, but otherwise, skip.