TV Shows

Review of Prime Video series ‘Wolfpack’ – SerieTotaal

Prime Video’s third cycling documentary in a short time may entertain fans of the sport, but it’s disappointing in its execution.

Director: Stef Ackx, Carl Declerck, Hendrik Luyten, ea | Number of episodes: 6 | Time to play: 47-51 minutes | Year: 2023

“We win as a team, we lose as a team. There is no individual.” One of the supervisors of the Belgian cycling team Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl (in 2023 Soudal Quick-Step) immediately says in the first episode of Pack of wolves there is no question where this mascot (‘pack’) name comes from. Although the execution of this cycling documentary is disappointing due to the formal choices made by the filmmakers, the six episodes still offer a fun glimpse into the workings of an ambitious team.

Quick-Step has been a well-known leading concept in the cycling peloton for over twenty years. The team produced several champions under different sponsor names (nicknames), but the biggest wins over the years were mostly on classics and separate stages (Tour). That was against the wishes of team boss Patrick Lefevere, who said he “didn’t want on his headstone that he never won a big tour.”

Fortunately for the stern and demanding foreman (with the occasional smile), in cycling country Belgium there is every once in a while a cyclist who seems to be able to do it all. Remco Evenepoel, still a talented soccer player at PSV in his teens, fulfilled his most important promise in 2022: at the age of twenty-two, he took overall victory in the Vuelta, also known as the Tour of Spain. .

Pack of wolves follows the Quick-Step riders during a peak season that traditionally began with the classics, the ‘monuments’ of spring, and in fact didn’t even end with that coveted Spanish podium. When the team colors were changed to the colors of the national flag at the end of September, Evenepoel on the other side of the world (Wollongong, Australia) also became world champions for a time. With such a winning streak, it’s hard to imagine the team being above the individual, but that’s exactly what it is. Pack of wolves propagates. In the shadow of success, the men who help the alpha wolf show up.

The episodes follow a time-tested recipe that Prime Video is offering no less than three times this month: after Everything included: Jumbo-Visma equipment in The race also combines Pack of wolves match footage and accompanying commentary with behind-the-scenes information. Since the team leader’s cars and the team bus normally remain largely shielded from the sports viewer, these documentaries almost always add something to the (re)experience of major cycle races.

Therefore, it is very unfortunate that the creators of Pack of wolves – the credits mention no less than five directors – they are pretty crazy in their use of a recurring voice-over, which has to indicate almost every major course and course development, leaving nothing to the imagination. Because the regular race commentary and generic pulsing music are also usually used at the biggest sporting moments, and there are frequent changes between the race situation and the team leader’s car, the documentary often feels overloaded. and out of balance.

luckily there is Pack of wolves in itself you can see quite a few scenes that entertain or even move. The temperamental tirades of sporting director Davide Bramati (‘Brama’) are priceless and it’s heartwarming to suddenly see a much slacker Evenepoel on the team bus after the Vuelta victory. In the second episode, the story of Dutch sprinter Fabio Jakobsen brings a lump to the throat. Even if he already knows the gruesome footage, it’s hard to see a 2020 runner being pushed into the fences by a peloton just before the end of a mass sprint.

Jakobsen was on the verge of death, and yet he got back on his bike to take exactly the same risks. With success, because in the year that the documentary shows, he wins a stage of the Tour and crosses the mountain (often cursed by sprinters) with the unconditional support of the Wolfpack. Jakobsen’s story is so unique that he actually deserved a standalone documentary. One day after Jakobsen’s sprint victory in the Tour de France, the sprinter who pushed him into the hurdles two years earlier won. It is a scenario that you normally do not have written in your dreams.

The episode in question is impressive, and yet even this intense and wonderful story is hampered by messy editing. Pack of wolves lose moments of rest; the many time jumps, repeated bits, and stylistic devices are meant to give the series structure, but due to the general excess and countless moments of change, they detract from individual scenes.

It is a consolation that for sports fans there is much to see and remember despite the form problems. The series is not recommended for viewers seeking a longer, more in-depth, controlled look at the personal side of the cyclist’s life. That made Everything included: Jumbo-Visma equipment in [/i]The race[/i] still much better. Pack of wolves it works best as a portrait of a diligent, demanding and immensely ambitious cycling team. In the last two seasons, a Quick-Step rider always rode in the recognizable colors of the rainbow jersey, traditionally worn by the world champion. In 2023 this is no different.

Pack of wolves can be seen in first video.


Ritika Prasher

Hey! What's going on with TV Shows? I'll tell you. I am a TV show enthusiast that has watched over 500 TV shows and counting. I have the inside scoop on what to watch on Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Hulu and more. Every TV show you want to binge watch, I've seen it. Want to know more about me, send me a mail at : [email protected]
Back to top button