We all know the story of the White Wolf, Geralt of Rivia, a witcher, a mutant who dedicates his life to monster-slaying. This story, however, follows the life of a young Vesemir, Geralt’s mentor, long before the events of The Witcher series.
As strange variants of monsters start to terrorize the forest of Ard Carraigh, Vesemir is tasked to investigate their origins. Meanwhile, in political spheres the following question arises: is there still a need for witchers in the world?
Though I’m ashamed to admit I have yet to read any of the Witcher’s source materials – the books written by Andrzej Sapkowski – I’m a big enough fan of the universe that I didn’t hesitate to watch this movie on its release day. I was not disappointed (that is, only in the fact that this is a movie, and not an animation series, as I first believed).
First, I’d like to mention the animation pleasantly reminded me of Avatar: The Last Airbender, be it a little more grimdark. After doing some research, I discovered it’s actually the studio behind The Legend of Korra (Studio Mir) that did the animation for this movie, so I was not far off the mark. Be that as it may, the style is smooth and pleasant to look at, even the more gorey bits, which I usually find hard to stomach. The action scenes were impressive (perhaps a little over the top in comparison with the games or series, but suitable for the medium).
The plot contained many of the elements one might expect of a story set in the Witcher-universe: dubious politics and gray moralities. For those familiar with the world, many of these aspects will be familiar, though I can imagine others might find them overwhelming or confusing. This movie takes little time to elaborate these matters, and some plot twists are messily executed. Still, it’s impressive how much depth they managed to include in only 83 minutes.
As for the characters, they remain relatively flat. Even Vesemir barely outgrows the archetype of the loveable rogue throughout the movie. However, the characters serve the story well enough.
I would recommend The Witcher: The Nightmare of the Wolf to every Witcher fan in need of some new content.