Connect with us

Movie Reviews

The Grey



Released: 27th January 2012 (UK)

Director: Joe Carnahan

Stars: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo

Certificate: 15

Reviewer: Ben Harris

Of late Liam Neeson can’t get enough of action roles and ‘The Grey’ is no exception. This time around he’s not fighting off villainous baddies but hungry man-eating wolves.

Neeson plays Ottway, a man struggling to come to terms with his wife’s death and who works in Alaska hunting wolves that threaten an oil drilling team. After completing his job he boards a plane to fly home but the plane crashes leaving him stranded in the freezing environment along with his team. Ottway and the last surviving members must find their way to civilisation before they become victims to the bitterly cold elements and a pack of angry wolves.

Unfortunately ‘The Grey’ suffers from being too structured and every scenario seems conventional. This makes it feel overly cliché and becomes frustrating when characters come to their end in annoyingly convenient circumstances.

Joe Carnahan, director and writer, also tries too hard to make you sympathise with all the characters. Ottway is straight away set up as a broken man forcing the audience to connect and support their protagonist. The other team members have wives and children waiting for them at home, mainly shown by wallet pictures and camp fire talk, and Carnahan takes every opportunity to make sure we know this so we root for them. Then there’s the obvious good vs bad guy. We all know how thats going to turn out.

Nevertheless ‘The Grey’ is extremely well filmed and has some beautiful scenery. The set pieces are gripping, the plane crash is especially captivating, and the wolf encounters are subtlety done. The wolf attacks sometimes go into overdrive and are a little on the unrealistic side but thankfully they are not like the dire CGI wolves we see in Twilight.

It’s Neeson, however, who keeps this film going with his brave performance. He has great emotional range and a courageous nature.

If ‘The Grey’ held back on the wolves and was more venturesome with the battle against the elements it would have been a solid survival flick. It’s still exciting in places but falls under the pressure of predictability.

Just For You