Liam Neeson & director Joe Carnahan previously teamed up on the underrated The A-Team which was a hell lot of goofy fun, The Grey however is a different type of film altogether. This is a slow burn thriller that takes its time in building scenarios and ramping up the suspense all the while maintaining a mystery as to who will battle the elements and survive. This is a hell of an action movieminus all conventional restrictions and regulations of the genre.
Ottway (Liam Neeson) works on an Alaskan oil-rig in the middle of the frigid nowhere. Hes there to provide security to the workers from the feral wildlife. Hes a man of few words and definitely not someone to be messed around with but underneath the tough exterior lurks a latent grief of some sort relating to his wife. A flight back home takes a turn for the worse and crashes, leaving a handful of survivors to trek through treacherous terrain and weather back to civilisation. If the elements and internal bickering werent enough a large pack of wolves starts stalking the group picking them off one by one. Ottway being the experienced hunter is the only thing that stands between survival and certain death for these men. Will he be able to guide them to safety? Will he be able to see his wife again?
The straightforward story is supplanted by simple yet effective elements that play havoc with the choices the characters are forced to make. Survival being the key and coming at any cost is the only thing that matters, sometimes at the cost of someone elses life too.
The terrain and landscape used is breathtakingly stark, scary and gorgeous to say the least. The wolves, which Im sure arent 100% real in many places have a mean, larger than life demeanour which presents them as interesting, relentless opponents.
Liam Neeson is in top element here and fills in the shoes of a man desperate to survive yet somehow ready to accept his fate too with aplomb. His stare, his stance rivals the fiercest of opponents he has to face. The man is a god.
The Grey is a cracker-jack of an action film with a great performance by Liam Neeson. Dont miss this one.