The Grey is one of the most anticipated films this January. Liam Neeson will give movie fans a whole new perspective when it comes to the concept of survival and fear. It is not just any survival flick that most people encounter and it will surely bring you a new sense of action and suspense. Here’s what Filmonic has to say about The Grey:
“The Grey is a hell of a way to kick off 2012. It’s part horror film and part survival flick, with all of the Liam Neeson badassery you’ve come to expect from his on-screen personas over the past few years. Joe Carnahan (Neeson’s director on the under-appreciated 2010 film, The A-Team) shows he’s a filmmaker capable of far more than gritty crime dramas – this is one of the best survival films I’ve ever seen.
I will warn you, though – if you’re going to see the movie exclusively for the wolf-boxing scene shown in the trailer, there’s a chance you’ll be a bit disappointed. But to be completely honest, that was the sole reason I was interested in this movie, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that The Grey has much more to offer than one gimmicky sequence.
John Ottman (Neeson) is a sharpshooter working at an oil refinery in Alaska. Their base camp is filled with “men unfit for mankind”: fugitives, ex-cons, the works. Ottman’s job is to protect the men working outside from wild animals, and he’s pretty damn good at it. But when their plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, the few surviving men must battle more than just the freezing temperatures and barren landscape to stay alive: a pack of wolves stalks their every move, killing them off one by one. Through harsh, unforgiving terrain and relentless pursuit by the wolves, the men must put their differences aside if they plan to make it out alive.
Though other films in the survival genre often touch on themes like fate and faith, The Grey overtly addresses these issues and, most importantly, does so in an interesting way. It wisely steers clear of using its characters as ciphers. (Example: it doesn’t feature one survivor as a preacher and another a doctor – GRRR, faith vs. science!) Instead, Carnahan chooses to depict his world in a startlingly bleak fashion, taking an existential approach to the survivor’s plight. Characters die in terrible and sometimes heartbreaking ways, lorded over by the pitiless whims of nature. It’s not the easiest thing to stomach, and the director goes out of his way to make us feel the hopelessness of his characters’ situation. Even the cinematography – beautiful as it is in some instances – soaks in a dreary palette, consuming the audience with the melancholy of the snow-swept mountains.
As one would expect from a Joe Carnahan film, the action is just as monumental as the picturesque backdrops. The plane crash is frantic and fierce, the most impressive I’ve seen since the one depicted in “LOST.” There is a chasm crossing reminiscent of the one in Cliffhanger, and at one point a character crashes into a tree in what is surely the most brutal and bone crunching depiction of such an act on film. I won’t go over each setpiece, but they’re all realistic and effective; Carnahan knows what looks good on screen, and he goes the extra mile to get it.”
You can read the entire movie review at filmonic.com
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