Liam Neesons latest movie, The Grey, sees the hollywood hardman go fisticuffs with a bunch of wild wolves in the Alaskan wilderness. Or at least, that’s what the trailer would lead you to believe.
Reuniting the veteran actor with director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team), The Grey tells the story of John Ottman (Neeson), a tough redneck whose job is to protect fellow workers from wolf attacks in a remote oil drilling operation in rural Alaska.
The plot is as follows: Upon completion of the drill, Ottman and his motley crew of rednecks board a plane to bring them back to the city. It isn’t long before the plane runs into a blizzard, the plane crashes in the wilderness and they find themselves being hunted by wolves.
The men are picked off one by one, until Ottman decides the only way to defeat the wolves is to outsmart them and fight them in hand to hand combat.
Sound exciting? It’s not. Joe Carnahan leaves us with a film that does not have the kind of action as hinted at in the trailer.
The most frustrating thing about The Grey is that it does not have the brutal, raw, kill or be killed action that compelled me to see the film in the first place. For those eager to watch Liam Neeson kick some wolf ass, forget it The encounters the men have with the wolves is tame. They fight the wolves off with sticks and fire, I was expecting that, but I was also expecting so much more. I wanted to see Neesons character Ottman revert back to primal instincts and go on an all out man versus wolf frenzy. That’s what I was hoping for and it just didn’t happen.
Another frustrating thing about The Grey is that it ends too soon. Just when the film begins to get interesting the credits roll. You will feel short changed.
The films strongest attribute and only saving grace is the performance from Liam Neeson. He makes this otherwise fogettable picture into something more memorable. He plays his character as a redneck who emerges from depression after losing his wife, a man who is on the brink of suicide at the beginning of the film, but by the end is a strong leader and survivor.
Neeson has some good scenes in the film. Pay attention to the scene where he comforts a dying colleague in his final moments. Also look out for the scene where he calls out to God for help.
Unfortunately The Grey did not turn out to be the type of film I had hoped it to be. I was hoping to see Neesons character become like Arnold Schwarzeneggers character in Predator, reverting back to his lower instinct in a battle of wits and skill against a superior enemy. This is what I was led to believe the film was about by both the trailer and the poster, sadly, it’s a case of bait and switch. Neeson as always, is terrific, and his performance is the best thing about this picture.
Sadly, I would not recommend The Grey for viewing. Skip this one and save your money for something better.