Starring Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney and Frank Grillo
Co-Written & Directed Joe Carnahan
Cinemas and multiplexes across the city of Toronto are changing their marquees and swapping out old posters for new ones as yet another new release Friday is upon us. Out today from our friends at eOne films is an intense action thriller where survival is the only goal. Get ready for “The Grey”.
“The Grey” introduces us to Ottway (Neeson) who leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt before their time runs out.
With “The Grey”; director Joe Carnahan has put together a sparse yet highly effective thriller. A simple story done with pain staking efficiency. Shot in a gritty, visceral style Carnahan drops you into the wilderness with the snow sweeping around and the wolves closing in, “The Grey” almost plays out under horror film rules as we are only ever really given glimpses of the wolves until the very end of the film. Boiled down to the basics we get each of the survivors stories as they bond on the run from their attackers, it’s a monster and a chase film all rolled into one and it is executed with near precision. Some minor plot points get dropped, but by the end of the film (and you need to stay until the end) you are so wrapped up in this story it doesn’t matter as the desire to survive is an attractive and the primary theme in this story that we can all connect to. The visuals were fantastic with minimal CGI and the final reveal of the wolves is actually animatronics and not computer generated effects, allowing Neeson and the entire cast to get up close and personal and it was a brilliant touch as it all looked about as real as it gets.
Liam Neeson slides into the grizzly action hero with aplomb and make no mistake he punches a wolf…he punches a lot of wolves. Some actors are just believable in certain roles and playing a grizzled veteran bad ass is right up Neeson’s alley and his ability to humanize those characters draws the viewer into his world and never lets them go. The balance of the supporting cast did a fine job in their roles, however this film was all about Neeson and the journey into the heart of the wilderness that he takes us on, and it is one fantastic ride.
“The Grey” won’t win awards or be regaled with a great deal of praise, but it is a tense, emotional action thrill ride that thrusts you into its world where your only goal is survival; which makes for a fun night at the movies.
4 out of 5 stars.
“The Grey” is playing in theatres across Toronto; click here for a list of show times near you.
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