Review of The Grey (2012)

22 Feb

The Grey (2012) is a thriller/drama/adventure film, based on the short story “Ghost Walker” by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers.

Directed by Joe Carnahan (The A-Team (2010), Smokin’ Aces (2006)).

Written by Joe Carnahan (Pride and Glory (2008), Ticker (2002)) and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers (Death Sentence (2007)).

Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Joe Anderson, Nonso Anozie, Dallas Roberts, Frank Grillo and others.

We start out with Liam Neeson (who works as a professional wolf-shooter) writing a suicide note and then he’s about to shoot himself, but he does not. I know it sounds like spoilers, but it happens like 5 minutes into the movie and would you really think that he’s going to go through with it? He’s the main character, of course he’s not going to die 5 minutes in.

So he goes on a plane with a bunch of men who work at the oil rig he is securing from wolves. Obviously he’s the cool, silent outcast. So in a classic bad-ass on a plane scenario when a guy on a plane starts talking to him, he replies  something like „Listen pal, I just want to get some sleep, I want silence” with emphasis on „pal” as in „you’re not my pal”.

So Neeson’s character Ottway falls asleep and doesn’t notice a plane shaking like Michael J. Fox’s hands, a dozen of guys freaking out and yelling or that he’s forgotten to put on a jacket in case he wakes up lying face-down in snow and that is exactly what happens. So he helps some of the alive men and they shelter in the crashed airplane.

As if the snow, cold and a bunch of bitchy guys weren’t enough, it turns out there’s some big-ass wolves hanging around. So the rest of the movie is the survivors trying to protect themselves from the wolves as they are picked off one by one.

If you watched the trailer and thought it’s going to be Taken set in a snow-storm, this movie is definitely not that and Neeson does not go around punching the shit out of the mean doggies.That being said Neeson still is pretty bad-ass here as the unofficial leader of the group of survivors.

Neeson gives a good performance, highlight being him having a little dialogue with God, and also all the other actors are pretty good as well, they are all actual characters and not just walking dog-food.

The writing is very good for what could have been a simple „survival in extreme conditions” thriller. It explores themes like faith, death, acceptance, values and so on, except I wish it had started earlier and gone deeper, so the points presented left me wanting more exploration. On the other hand it’s better to get less and want more, than get unnecessarily much.

Roger Ebert said in his review that after this film he went to another, but walked out because it wouldn’t be fair to the other film and I must say I felt something similar. I walked out of it, unsure of how I felt, I wanted to sit down and think about it for a while and every time a movie makes me feel like this, I consider it a worthwhile experience.

Overall, a solid, good film, I wouldn’t call it anything too brilliant, but it is worth seeing, definitely recommended for all tastes.

Pictured: the point where I would shit my pants and let the wolf eat me.

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