¨Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day. ¨
Joe Carnahan directed Liam Neeson in 2010 when they worked together in The A-Team, and now they decided to reunite once again in wildlife survivalist movie, The Grey. This is a very different film from the action comedy they made in The A-Team. The Grey is a much darker film that deals with surviving the dangers of the wilderness (in this case surviving a pack of wolves in the winter of Alaska). The film has several flaws and you can find a lot of plot holes in the story`s logic, but I can`t ignore the fact that this movie was entertaining and thrilling. It had me at edge of my seat during several parts of the movie, although I did have some issues with the pacing of the film. There were several unnecessary scenes and dialogues I wished would`ve been cut off. What I did enjoy the most about The Grey is Liam Neeson. He is a true action star and he has proven himself in every film he stars in. You can just put him up against anybody or anything and you can have a decent movie. He is just that good. Ever since Taken, I was blown away with him. If I survived a plane crash and had to fight off a pack of dangerous wolves then I would definitely choose Liam Neeson as my companion. He is a true star and a bankable actor which is hard to find nowadays. Without a very great script, Neeson does the best and gives us an enjoyable movie. There aren`t a lot of good movies that tend to be released in January or February, and this is definitely above average so by all means see this unless you still have a lot of catching up to do with the late 2011 films.
The story focuses on Ottway (Liam Neeson) a hunter who is working for an oil company in the wilderness of Alaska. He isn’t proud of his life or his job. The film begins with a narration of a letter he is writing for his ex wife saying how much he misses her and how he wished he could be with her although it`s not possible any more. He then gets on a plane and while they are flying over Alaska with several other oil workers, the plane crashes. Only seven people survive the crash, and Ottway is among them. The other survivors are Hendrick (Dallas Roberts), Díaz (Frank Grillo), Talget (Dermot Mulroney), Burke (Nonso Anozie), Hernandez (Ben Bray) and Flannery (Joe Anderson). The seven are shaken up by the crash, but Ottway begins showing his leadership qualities by trying to find a way to survive the harsh weather. They soon find out that they aren`t alone when a pack of dangerous wolves who are protecting their territory attack them. The men try to stay together in order to survive the threat. Ottway tells them that they shouldn’t stay put because the wolves will surround them so they begin heading towards the woods. The wolves and the cold weather will put these men`s surviving skills to the test in the middle of the wilderness.
The screenplay was written by director Joe Carnahan along with Ian Mackenzie Jeffers who actually wrote the short story that this film was based on: Ghost Walker. I don’t know if I would’ve been interested in the story if it weren’t for Liam Neeson who made this a much better film than it really would be. He just makes this film so much suspenseful and better. I thought he was just great in the ending, and he just looked so cool and in control the entire time. We may not be able to control the things that happen to us, but we can choose how to face them, and Liam Neeson just does the best he can with the card that are dealt his way. The rest of the characters I could actually care less for. It was actually hard to distinguish who was who at times with all the heavy clothes they were wearing. I also had some trouble figuring out what they were saying at times. The scenery was beautiful, you could actually feel the cold weather penetrating, and the action scenes were ok although they pretty much left everything to your imagination as they cut several things out. The only thing I`m sure of after watching The Grey is that Liam Neeson can make almost any film work if you just let him take control of the film. This is what The Grey does best, it focuses entirely on him and lets him single handedly carry the film. The problem I has with his previous film, Unknown, is that they didn’t let him be in control of everything that was happening. He seemed kind of lost in that film, but here he is just secure and ready to act like in Taken. I really enjoyed this film.