The Grey (Rated R)
- Starring Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts
- Directed by Joe Carnahan
- Plot: After their plane crashes, the survivors must battle the elements and wolves if they hope to survive.
The Grey is one of the those movies that I saw advertised several times, but it never really stuck with me and even yesterday, before I saw the movie, I had to look it up to see what it was about. Liam Neeson and wolves was the best I could come up with.
The Grey is a good movie about man battling nature, but it ends up losing me as a fan for a unnecessarily bad ending to an otherwise good movie.
Liam Neeson works with an oil company killing wolves to protect workers. From the very beginning of the movie, it becomes apparent that the film is going for a tone. The mood and the cinematography are bleak, filling the theater with a bleakness. Neeson’s character, John Ottway is obviously struggling with his life, trying to escape a past we only see only in small flashbacks. He has given up and is contemplating suicide.
Heading back to civilization with some of his fellow workers, the plane crashes in what is a very effective scene in the movie.. The few survivors must make an overland trek across some of the roughest terrain on earth, battling bitter temperatures, inclement weather, and a pack of large territorial wolves.
I typically love this kind of movie – man against nature can be terrifying – think Open Water or Frozen but with higher caliber acting and better special effects. The director went old school, using animatronics for the close up shots with the wolves and it definitely gives the movie a more realistic feel.
All that is good about the movie is somewhat undone by an ambiguous ending that leaves the audience feeling unsatisfied. Make sure you stay through the end credits for a scene that offers a touch of resolution, but still left me pissed off. I’ve just about had it with weak screenwriters who rather than putting in the work to write a conclusion, simply end their story under the guise of an artistic choice. There is a scene in the previews that I was really excited about and it comes at the end of the movie and just as your gearing up for it, the film ends leaving audiences to wonder about the ending. The movie is based on “Ghost Walkers,” a short-story by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers. I haven’t read the story, so maybe it was his choice for an ending, but regardless, it felt like a lazy effort and left me unhappy with the film.
The Grey is rated R for language and disturbing scenes of violence.
If you like to see The Grey, it is currently playing in the Ames area at the Cinemark Movies 12. Follow the link for showtimes. If you live outside the Ames area, check out Fandango.com for theaters and showtimes near you.