Skip to content

“The Grey” – Review (POSITIVE)

January 29, 2012

I’m not gonna lie, when I saw the trailer for Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey”, the first thing that came to mind was David Mamet’s “The Edge”, except that film had bears, this one has wolves. But, to my surprise, without any question, “The Grey” is 2012’s first legit Best Picture contender for next years Oscars.

It will be a crying shame if Liam Neeson doesn’t get a Best Actor nomination as well. While “The Edge” dealt with similar themes and notions, that movie was about two men who opposed one another having to result to join forces. “The Grey” is about the every man, the common man, banding together to survive, while holding onto that last thread of humanity.

Set in Alaska, an oil drilling team struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the barren wasteland of the Alaskan wild. Lead by a hired wolf-killing gunman named Ottway (Neeson), the group of men are being hunted by a pack of timber wolves that see all of them as intruders to their territory. One by one, the good men are being killed off by Mother Nature herself, Ottway tries his best to keep his composure at an ease facing off such a harsh territory.

For director & co-writer, Joe Carnahan, a filmmaker behind such works as “The A-Team”, “Smokin’ Aces”, & “Narc”, it’s a safe bet that this particular film is his most mature work to date. “The Grey” is a raw character study that goes further than other man vs. nature films; man questions his own mortality and reason for living. The climate is harsher than what Tom Hanks had to go through in “Cast Away”, and the stakes have never been higher. Vicious beasts that God himself created are taunting you, you can’t sleep, and you can’t rest, without fearing the unexpected attack of a wolf.

Liam Neeson lately hasn’t really left a major mark as an actor in quite sometime. In my opinion, the last great performance of his career came from Steven Spielberg’s Oscar winning film “Schindler’s List”. Lately, Neeson has done many one-note by the book heavy breathing action flicks, they get tiresome and boring after a while, although I will say “Taken” was quite amusing. However, “The Grey” returns Neeson back to that intense performance realm that I feel he himself has been searching for. There’s a moment in the film where his character has pretty much lost everything, he’s at his wits end, and he screams up into the heavens cursing out to God, it’s a powerful scene that will make even the strongest man in the audience weep.

The harsh look of the film plays to a great advantage. The intense use of grain plays like a second star to the movie, it’s like a quasi-documentary, something from the Discovery channel turned on it’s own head. Carnahan has crafted a film that I’m sure will have people talking for quite sometime. It’s a powerful film, with powerful characters, and powerful themes, released in the month of January, a month where studios dump their ‘crap films’.

It makes no sense to me that this movie couldn’t make it out in time for 2011 Fall Oscar season. Lucky enough, Open Road Pictures announced that the film will get a rightful re-release come this October to push “The Grey” for it’s much deserved Oscar buzz. As much as I’m praising the film, I will say I have only one real beef, it’s the wolves. They look fake at times, they reminded me much of the wolves from the beginning of “300”. And the ending, while it didn’t bother me so much, I can see that it’s gonna bother a lot of other people, much in the same way how Darren Aronofsky’s “The Wrestler” ended (you’ll see).

GRADE: A-

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: