In a matter of ten years we have been provided with some good survival, man vs. nature movies such as “Cast Away” and “127 Hours,” but none packs such a violent, profane, yet emotional punch, as “The Grey.” It stars Liam Neeson as Ottway, a man who works for an oil company as “the outsider,” who basically just goes along to shoot any dangerous animal that may threaten the oil drillers. One night, their plane goes down in the Alaskan wilderness, leaving only a few survivors. With Ottway and his excessive knowledge of dangerous wildlife leading the group, it faces the issues of teamwork, spirituality, and, of course, bloodthirsty wolves.
This film is directed by Joe Carnahan (The A-Team) and is produced by the great Ridley Scott (Prometheus) and features a handful of mostly unknown actors apart from Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List.) The cinematography is great, capturing the sheer beauty of snow and, well, nature itself. It really is a shame that the Academy doesn’t even consider movies like this because Liam Neeson gives a definite Oscar worthy performance. His character makes you wince, widen your eyes in shock, laugh (sometimes), and cry, all in a matter of seconds. The screenplay by Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers is pretty good, offering no flaws from what I can remember, and the direction by Carnahan is great.
I absolutely loved Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours,” but as of right now “The Grey” holds the top spot for best survialist film in my book. This is a magnificant portrayal of life, love, and survival.
Overall, “The Grey” is possibly the best in the latest string of Liam Neeson movies, and it is one of the best films of 2012. Brutal, bloody, violent, profane, yet heartwarming and emotional, this film is explosive throughout, leading up to a breathtaking finale.
Run Time: 118 mins
Rated: R for violence / disturbing content including bloody images, and for pervasive language