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The filmmaker Albert Hughes turns back to the Ice Age for his latest work, an enthralling epic that deserves to be seen on the big screen.

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Kodi Smit-McPhee

 

This enthralling survival story unfolds in south-western Europe during the Ice Age, 20,000 years ago. A chieftain (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, from Game of Thrones) leads his men on a dangerous bison hunt, the first for his teenage son, Keda (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Then the nervous boy is soon separated from the tribe, his only companion being an injured wolf that he nurses back to health. They subsequently form a friendship that will lead them to help each other to endure countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way back home before the deadly winter arrives.

 

There are very few words spoken throughout the film and these are in a very believable, made-up language. Director Albert Hughes has created a work of great imagination, grounding his straightforward tale in recognizable human and animal behaviour. He began his career with his brother Allen and they made several films together – as The Hughes Brothers – including From Hell and The Book of Eli, the latter a post-apocalyptic drama. Now he takes us back in time for this visually ravishing adventure (cinematography by Martin Gschlacht) and it deserves to be seen on the biggest screen possible (I was fortunate to see it in Imax 3D).

 

GEORGE SAVVIDES

 

Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Natassia Malthe, Leonor Varela, Jens Hultén; narrated by Morgan Freeman.

 

Dir Albert Hughes, Pro Albert Hughes and Andrew Rona, Screenplay Daniele Sebastian Wiedenhaupt, from a story by Albert Hughes, Ph Martin Gschlacht, Pro Des John Willett, Ed Sandra Granovsky, Music Joseph S. DeBeasi, Costumes Sharen Davis.

 

Columbia Pictures/Studio 8/The Picture Company-Sony Pictures

96 mins. USA. 2018. Rel: 24 August 2018. Cert. 12A.