I give it 3 out of 5 stars.
The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, is appropriately named. It is a dark, dreary slog of a movie. This is not a good time adventure story about a walk through the woods. This is a tale of survival, against all odds, in the most inhospitable terrain imaginable.
Liam Neeson plays a man who works in a remote oil plant somewhere deep in the cold back woods of Alaska. He’s an armed security guard, of sorts. His job is to protect the men who work at the plant from the locals – the locals, in this case, being wild wolves. He’s basically a hunter on guard.
That’s about as much background as we get on our hero before we are thrust into the thick of the story. He and a bunch of other men from the plant are on a charter jet together, leaving the plant to return to the big city where their families and their lives await them. Unfortunately they encounter heavy weather, and their flight never reaches it’s destination. Instead they crash land in the middle of ice world nowhere, Alaska. A handful of men survive the crash, including our hero. From there on it’s a survival tale, man against wolf and wilderness.
This is not an easy movie to enjoy on the surface. It’s basically an exercise in realistically exploring all of the terrible ways you could die in the frozen woods of Alaska. There prove to be many. There are some graphic scenes of people meeting terrible fates in this film. I’m not really into that, and I wasn’t expecting it to be as graphic as it was from the previews. It’s not always an easy movie to watch. People of fragile constitutions should probably skip this film.
It is an interesting movie though, artistically. The majority of the film is tints of black, white, and gray, and sprinkled bits of dark blue and green keep it barely above freezing. It’s dark dreary landscapes give way to occasional scenes of breathtaking beauty. I think this is a movie for people who have an interest in the outdoors, and in testing themselves against the odds. It certainly does a worthy job of showing us what a test it could be.
The Grey is most certainly a sad movie, and I have to admit I did not like the way it ends. However, the acting, directing, and cinematography were terrific. It’s worth watching if you can stomach the thrills, the chills, and all the blood that gets spilled. Just be sure everyone knows what they’re in for.