IFFR Review: The Last Ride Of The Wolves

DIRECTED BY

Alberto De Michele

STARRING

Pasquale De Michele, Alberto De Michele, Angelo Garbin, Vittorio Spigolon, Alberto Garbin, Davide Tomasi and Marco Zago

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SYNOPSIS

In The Last Ride of the Wolves, we follow retired criminal Pasquale, as he plans one last robbery. After this, Pasquale plans to retire for good. The result is an unusual, candid look behind the scenes of the Italian underworld – which turns out to be a pretty mundane, banal setting.

The Last Ride Of The Wolves marks the directorial feature debut of Alberto De Michele, who stars alongside Pasquale De Michele. The film focuses on Pasquale, an old crook who lost his fortune to gambling. However, Pasquale attempts to organise his last big heist and reunite The Wolves, a gang of North-Italian fairground operators who moonlight as thieves. The robbery of a money truck – transporting €12m in cash – could be a good pension for everybody, and secure the legacy of their old-school craftsmanship.

IFFR Review of The Last Ride Of The Wolves

We’ve all become familiar with what to expect in a crime film. The score, getting the group together, it being ‘one last job’, the thrills, the chases, the suspense! But what Alberto De Michele does here is see all of that as white noise, breaking it down to focus on one pivotal character, Pasquale, and showcase the rather mundane side of crime. With Pasquale fresh out of an eighteen-month stint in prison (or so he claims), we spent the majority of the films hour and twenty minute runtime in a car focusing on him and his driver, driving him around to set the heist in motion and also listen to him tell stories about how the mafia operates, how glorious past crimes were and just about everything in general. What becomes apparent though is the more that Pasquale talks, the more that it feels like he could be letting on to know more than he really does.

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It is an interesting angle from the director and what makes it work so well for me is the way he makes us feel like a fly-on-the-wall as we follow Pasquale’s stories and his brief meeting with random individuals and the role is brought to life well by Pasquale De Michele, the amount of monologue’s he has to deliver as most of his conversations with the driver are one-sided and he makes it feel effortless. While the concept of the heist and narration is interesting, I wouldn’t find it hard to believe that the casual viewer would find the film boring, especially if they go in expecting the familiar patterns of a common heist film. The direction of the scenes are well constructed by Alberto De Michele, particularly in how we see the plan in operation.

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VERDICT

While it would be easy to label it as the Locke of heist films, Albert De Michele’s The Last Ride Of The Wolves is an interesting concept that is brought to life with fine direction and Pasquale De Michele’s performance.

★★★