Movie Review: The Grey

TheGrey

Details from IMDB:

 

The Grey (2011)

Ratings: 6.9/10 from 110,719 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 612 user | 346 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.

Director:

Joe Carnahan

Writers:

Joe Carnahan (screenplay), Ian Mackenzie Jeffers(screenplay), and 1 more credit »

Stars:

Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney and Frank Grillo | See full cast and crew

Initial thoughts:

Ah Liam Neeson, he’s been Qui-Gon Jinn (from Star Wars), Oskar Shindler, Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman) and even Aslan (from Narina). He is a terrific actor but he seems to be the type who isn’t picky enough with his roles. Anyway this was on Fiber Optic the other night so I watched it. I do love survival movies and this certainly is one of them.

Main Points:

This time Liam plays Ottway, an expert hunter of wolves and marksman who works with a work camp in Alaska. He is moody, depressed and thinks often about his wife (we’re never really sure if she left him or died).

In fact in an early scene Ottway leaves a bar and goes out in the woods, he puts the rifle to his mouth but thankfully doesn’t pull the trigger, such is the depths of his depression.

His only point in life it seems is to shoot wolves, think about his wife and write her letters. I should say here that I’ve seen a bunch of survival movies and as a consequence I tend to pick apart what the people do. I don’t claim to be any kind of survival excerpt but I’ve looked stuff up and talk with people, so I have an idea on what works and what doesn’t, I’ll save that for a little later.

SPOILER ALERT!

As soon as they go on the plane I knew it was going to crash, otherwise there wouldn’t be a movie. The unexpected part is how depressing things get! Sad smile As they land in the middle of the wilderness they are continually hunted by wolves.

One by one all of the survivors either die from the elements or from a wolf. Finally it comes down to just Ottway and he stumbles into the wolves den (something he had been trying to avoid most of the movie). While it’s not shown the obvious assumption is that he too dies. So it’s a movie where everyone dies and no one get’s rescued, oh if that wasn’t bleak enough Ottway begs God for help and doesn’t get any.

Final Thoughts:

With all of that said above there is still plenty to like about the movie. There is plenty of action, Nelson (and the other actors) turn in solid performances and I enjoyed the simple, straight-forward plot which does provide some intense moments. It also brings up questions of humanity (and ultimately what gives life meaning) along with how you would react when put in desperate situation.

Oh and a couple of other concerns. So Ottway is this expert hunter yet when the plane crashes and he finds his rifle (the long muzzle is now broken in half) he abandons it! I’m not hunter but if you were in the woods surrounded by wolves I would never give up a rifle. As long as it could shoot at all it has to be of some use. Also later on Ottway is following a river and says to another survivor something like “keep going, there could be a cabin right around the corner”. “Yes” I said talking to the screen “there could!”. Of course that made too much sense and he decides instead to wander into the woods. If you’re lost and you find a river you follow it! It means you have to be heading in one direction and eventually you will either hit a town or the ocean, either way it’s better than the woods.

So in the end I would give this movie a mild recommendation and give it 7/10 Smile. There are some clever references and jokes to other movies that I enjoyed and Neeson does play an interesting (thought ultimately tragic character) well. Until next time (and yes it could very well be another movie review Winking smile) I am as always…

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