Liam Neeson is a pleasure to watch in almost anything. In “The Grey”, a terrifying survival movie, he leads the cast as Ottway, a sharpshooter hired by an Alaska oil refinery to keep wolves, bears and other creatures away from the industry. On a trip home after a five-week shift, the men are victims of a storm that sends their plane crashing into the wilderness. Brilliant scene by the way. The survivors of this horrible crash will soon realize that they are in the radius of a brutal wolf pack, and in case you didn’t know, wolves hate company. Game on. Director Joe Carnahan, who co-wrote the script with Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, turn this ridiculous story into an exciting and unforgettable roller-coaster ride with spot on performances by Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo and Dermot Muroney. “The Grey” fools you into thinking it is cheesy, but quite the opposite really. It doesn’t take long for this constantly surprising movie to pull you in deep. Man, beast and nature are all part of the DNA of “The Grey”, in the subtext of the most amazing showdown between a group of men and the glowing eyes of a pack of wolves. Neeson’s performance in particular will take you places you don’t see coming. His portrayal, coupled with some terrific flashback material makes him a worthwhile character for the unfolding events. I found myself rooting for him, and that’s always essential in movies like this (otherwise why bother?). And much to my surprise, Carnahan also injects a number of philosophical ideas (about death, love, and nature) that may affect some viewers. But at heart, it’s still an adventure story that packs a great punch. It’s unquestionably the most chilling portrayal of a plane crash since 1993’s “Alive”. Sit back and behold.
Categories: The Twenty-First Century