IMDB Score – 7.8
Rotten Tomatoes – 77%
At first glance The Grey may look like another chance for Liam Neeson to kick the crap out of everybody but surprising emotional depth and intelligent filmmaking make it a thinking man’s action flick.
The film centers around a team of exhausted oilrig roughnecks on the plane flight home from the deep Alaskan wilderness. This crew spearheaded by the reliably stoic Neeson battle the wilderness, desperation, and most notably some fierce-ass wolves.
The opening sequence of the film was filmed with such a personal lens that I literally felt uncomfortable watching it. The plane crash and the early moments of the film rival the emotional burden of a well-written novel.
The stunning shots of the wind blown moonscape literally made the theater feel cold. I was truly taken aback by the sincerity of the film; it was truly one of Neeson’s better performances.
To sum the film up in a word, I would have to say realism. Although there is still certainly an atmosphere of nostalgic Neeson kickassery, the director and writer of the film Joe Carnahan (most known for the sci-fi flop that was The Fourth Kind 2009)
let a truly compelling story tell itself.
He succeeded most notably in not ruining the film. Although that seems like somewhat of a slight I mean it a true compliment.
Carnahan let the raw truth of natures wrath and the torturous nature of fate truly come through rather than mask the power of the story with cheesy pump-up music and montages of high-fiving camaraderie.
The only minor bone I have to pick with the film is that in some places conversation did loiter where cinematography or a nice bear fighting sequence could have resided, but hey nobody’s perfect.
With enough action to satisfy the simple-minded (such as myself) and a truly shocking emotional richness The Grey is a strong text.
Go see it, but dress warmly, and don’t necessarily expect to leave the theater feeling optimistic about the human condition.