Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Grey Movie Review 225

The Grey is a 2012 thriller starring Liam Neeson and Dermot Mulroney and directed by Joe Carnahan. It is based on a short story by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers.

Neeson plays John Ottway who is working in Alaska killing wolves who are coming close to an oil drilling rig. He kills a wolf outside and then he turns the gun on himself obviously intending to commit suicide. He is stopped when he hears the howling of the other wolves. He had written a letter to his wife and he is thinking about when he was with her last. He is heading home with some others when their plane crashes in the middle of nowhere.He and some others survive and they have to go and build a fire before they freeze to death. The other survivors are Diaz(Frank Grillo), Talget(Mulroney),Hendrick(Dallas Roberts),Flannery(Joe Anderson),Hernandez(Ben Bray) and Burke(Nonso Anozie). Ottway takes over leadership of the group much to the annoyance of Diaz.They take turns watching out for the wolves as they have landed in their territory. Hendandez gets killed as he is urinating. The wolves are going to pick them off one by one.

Ottway tells the group that the wolves consider them fair game because they have encroached on their territory and that they are hunting them like prey. They have to get over to a wooded area to get away from the wolves. Ottway suggests that they collect all of the wallets from the dead so that they can be given to their families. As the wolves follow them, more of the team are killed. Ottway tells them that they have to fight the wolves and kill them. There is no other way to survive. The wolves come closer and the group are afraid as they hear the ungodly howling of the pack. The survivors dwindle until there is just Ottway, Diaz and Hendrick left. Diaz gives up and is left by the water to die. Ottway and Hendrick continue on, but tragedy stikes as Hendrick falls into the river and gets his foot stuck between two rocks and drowns. Ottway is alone. He ends up right in the middle of the wolves lair and he is surrounded by them. He knows that this is the end and he arms himself for a savage fight. This is where the movie ends, but there is a little scene at the end of the credits which shows the main wolf lying dead with Ottway's head on its stomach suggesting that they killed each other.

This is a very good movie. Neeson proves once again that he is a very talented actor and he is very impressive here in this part as a lonely man who has lost his wife and has nothing to live for. He battles the wolves only to end up in their lair. I highly recommend this and I think that it is very entertaining. There is some lovely shots of the wilderness and the wolves are impressive too. I am giving this an 8/10.


Roy Butash said...

I've seen this movie in theater and i have to say that this is one of the best movies with Liam no doubt.
Highly recommended for all.

UK said...

Indeed, Neeson and his fellow actors walk away from the plane crash...into the jaws of some very hungry, very demonic wolves. Sound improbable? It is. And that's part of the fun. Because THE GREY isn't an action film. It was marketed as such, and as you can judge from many of the reviews, this was the viewpoint a lot of people took when watching it. But THE GREY is more of an existential survivalist film. These wolves aren't really wolves--they don't look like wolves, they don't behave like wolves. The plane crash, beautiful though it is on film, isn't very realistic. The fact that Neeson's character just happens to be a man paid to kill wolves? Yeah.

But Joe Carnahan does what most filmmakers wouldn't dare: he uses the absurdity to tell a bigger, more meaningful story. Years from now, when people are debating whether or not Carnahan is a good filmmaker, the "pro" side will put forth THE GREY as their proof. It is beautifully shot--the wolves are achingly rendered, shadowy creatures whose minimal appearance reflects the overall ambiguity of the film. (Their attacks are effectively brutal while presenting a minimum level of gore.) The afore-mentioned crash is stunning, and the various small action sequences are tightly drawn. This is truly a film to be watched--the special effects, combined with the cinematography, and the actors' rugged appearances, makes it hard for one's eyes to wander.

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