The Grey is the only thing that isn’t dreary this winter, as Director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team)kicks the usual January lineup in the teeth with his newest release.
Starring Liam Neeson (as John Ottway), five guys who aren’t Liam Neeson, and a pack of pissed off Timber wolves, The Grey scrapes its way through the Alaskan wilderness leaving a trail of blood, fire and broken bodies.
The protagonist, Ottway, is the chief security officer of a remote drilling company, a stoic man who is familiar with death, who left the warmth of the lower 48 for the company of ex-cons and the biting cold of the last American frontier. While on a flight to a new remote drilling site, the plane crashes into the tundra, killing all but Ottway and a handful of miners.
What follows is 90 minutes of Sarah Palin’s Alaska getting curb stomped by Liam Neeson. The film presents a constantly rising tension as the group is stalked through the darkness by shadows with open jaws and yellow teeth.
The near constant brutality of nature is the main character. Mostly it is deadly but occasionally, when the survivors stop to catch their breath, a subtle tenderness comes in around the edges, imbuing the sweeping arctic vistas with an unearthly beauty.
Ottway responds to increasingly impossible situations with tenacious ingenuity, improvising solutions to some nasty problems while keeping a level head, using both his mind and body to confront the dangers of the raw, frozen north as they spring up.
This is the kind of movie that leaves theater seats sticky with excess adrenaline sweat. The final five minutes of this film contain more badass machismo than 2011’s entire box-office lineup, culminating in a finale so spectacular it will have you standing up and screaming at the screen. Put down this paper and go see this movie. NOW!