The Grey

Wolf Pack

         
 

26 January 2012| 1 Comment     by Sean Chavel

 

A convincingly real thriller about horrible ways to die in the outdoors. The Grey is Liam Neeson’s first respectable entry since “Taken,” and this time he has a screenplay that holds actual ideas amid an unsavory predicament. Following a passenger plane crash in Alaska of unforgettable terror and destruction that you won’t forget, only seven survivors are left standing. Right through the conclusion, there are continuous great shots of harsh stormy weather. We feel that the camera angles show us all the perimeters. They are abandoned, stranded, and soon hungry. But the pack of bloodthirsty wolves are hungrier.

The men are in the wolves’ den territory. When they attack they thrash and gnaw to hurt and kill first, eat second. The men agree, but only somewhat, to vacate from the wreckage and run for cover in the forest which is about a day’s journey away. Leading the way of course is Neeson’s character John Ottway, a corporate contract worker paid to shoot wild animals to protect oil refinery workers. Except he doesn’t have a gun with him this time. He is only equipped with knowledge of old-fashioned survival skills.

The other men are varying in their degrees of fear and cowardice and are played by Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie and Ben Bray. Some of them quarrel with Neeson’s decision-making and others trust his guidance. We don’t get to know much about them through dialogue except that some are heavy drinkers who piss their paychecks away on booze. They have never been truly challenged before.

This is the last film I would have expected by Joe Carnahan who made the dreadful “A-Team” a year back. Redeeming himself, Carnahan has put together an old-fashioned bloody yarn and enhanced it with first-rate cinematography. Some of the characters make silly, foolish decisions but the film itself is never silly. “The Grey” most strongly recalls “Alive” (1993) and “The Edge” (1997) as other thrillers based on nature disasters. You won’t jump for joy during its running time, but you might feel empathy.

117 Minutes. Rated R.

SUSPENSE-THRILLER / MOTHER NATURE / LATE NIGHT THRILLS

Film Cousins: “Never Cry Wolf” (1983); “Alive” (1993); “The Edge” (1997); “Touching the Void” (2003).

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.

 

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  1.  
    mrwonderful

    mrwonderful says,

     

    Saw this film yesterday in high definition. The crispness of the outdoors is captured beautifully on Blu Ray. Lia, Neeson does a great job portraying a man of anguish at the loss of his wife. Supporting characters are great as well. Oil men swearing constantly probably is an accurate verbiage present in the oil fields. These desolate environments would drive any man/woman to hit the bottle. I wish the director would’ve shown us the final battle, but I understand for art’s sake he was letting the viewer decide his fate. But I was smart and waited to the end credits and saw that Liam is now the alpha of the group. Overall great entertaining film.

     

    on June 11, 2012

     

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