The Worst Movie of 2018: Netflix’s “White Fang”


No one is going to watch a movie about your dog. In fact, you usually have to pay people to watch your dog. With “White Fang,” Netflix asks you to watch their dog for free. Don’t.

If “White Fang” the novel is a wolf, then “White Fang” the animated Netflix movie is a FurReal Friend. It looks cute but it doesn’t do anything, and even a kid can tell it’s not really alive.

Let’s get one thing straight: the original “White Fang” is a dark morality tale about what happens when a wolf is alienated from his kind through violence and human intervention. It’s the sort of story with enough violence to satisfy Tarantino and enough striking quotes to rationalize a voice-over running through the film. However, Netflix’s “White Fang” ditches everything great about its source material, and what it has to offer in its place is laughable at best.

In the novel, White Fang is a badass wolf hardened by famine and hatred of his own species. He narrates with a cold detachment as death comes for everyone but himself. In the movie, a wordless, cutesy White Fang barks, looks sort of confused and growls menacingly. The range of emotion the animal demonstrates would hardly fill up a five-minute Pixar short. At 90 minutes, the character goes beyond unbearable into the realm of the absurd.

The rest of the film is built on elements just as depressing. The film’s human characters are extremely boring, and the poorly-written dialogue rarely serves to provide any information that’s not made obvious already on screen. The animation itself is chunky and ugly. The entire film looks like a cheap videogame cutscene.

If there’s any indicator that a so-called action movie is bad, it’s when you can’t see the action. Every time “White Fang” ramps up to a fight scene, the camera pans away because apparently, those would either be too hard to animate or they would look stupid given how cheaply the graphics are rendered. It’s hard to watch without feeling embarrassed for everyone involved.

There are millions of cute dog videos on the internet, yet White Fang manages to be one of the worst. I would give it one star if only there was a single bright spot among the arctic mess.