- Starring: Liam Neeson (Taken), Dermot Mulroney, (Zodiac), Frank Grillo (Warrior)
- Directed by: Joe Carnahan
- Synopsis: “A group of oil-rig roughnecks are left stranded on the sub-arctic tundra after their plane experiences a complete mechanical failure and crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. The survivors, battling mortal injuries, biting cold and ravenous hunger, are relentlessly hunted and pursued by a vicious pack of rogue wolves.” (collider)
- Rated: R for strong language, strong violence (bloody images and disturbing content).
“From Qui-Gon Jinn (Star Wars) to Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman Begins) to Brian Mills (Taken) to Zeus (Wrath of the Titans) to Ottway (The Grey), Liam Neeson is a BAD man!
After surviving a horrendous plane crash, Neeson and 6 others in this chilly thriller must work together and persevere in the harshest of conditions in order to stay alive. Aside from the elements, hunger, disorientation, and paranoia, the men must also contend with a pack of ravenous wolves that are intent on taking them down one by one.
The Grey is full of suspense, thrill, excitement, and fear. It has several of the -what I call- “Shock and Scare” moments! (I could not help but laugh quietly to myself every time the 3 women sitting next to me in the theaters would jump and let out a slight shriek whenever they got scared!) Without a doubt, The Grey brings with it several levels of excitement and adventure. Liam Neeson portrays the gritty outdoorsman with a good sense for survival quite well. A gritty exterior but yet allows us to see the man underneath from time to time which allows for better relation to his character.
His character, however, remained the only character that really was of any meaning. Immediately after the first wolf claims his first victim it is understood exactly what the rest of the characters are there for. With some mediocre attempts to create quick meaning to each of the characters before their “exit,” The Grey lacks in keeping you interested in any of the other men short of Neeson. So, when it is time for the next victim it is more of a guessing game as to who it will be and who will survive.
…and that’s okay, I suppose.
Plenty of suspense with the wolves and the harsh environment makes up for that.
However, it is the built up anticipation of the wolves that left me with probably the biggest disappointment of all. This film promised so much more in teases with the trailer, the poster, the promo material, etc…and does not keep up its end of the bargain. I could deal with the lack of character development. I could deal with the stereotypical self-sacrificing suicides and expected exits of characters that we see in survival movies (Vertical Limit, Day After Tomorrow, etc). I could even deal with the disbelief that none of these men except Neeson ever watch episodes of ‘Man vs. Wild’! But what disappointed me most is what I went to see the movie for most of all never happened!
For fear of that being too close to a spoiler I will just end this review now with this final word:
The Grey– not bad. Not great. Great cinematic work and fantastic suspense accompanies this chilly adventure that packs a ton of grit and fear. It promised to be full of so much more, but in the end, left me feeling quite gray.
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
Score: 3 out of 5 stars for The Grey
–T, The Focused Filmographer
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