The Grey

"Good"

The Grey Review


The story (by cowriter Jeffers) this film is based on was clearly inspired by Jack London's famously bleak short story To Build a Fire, pitting a man against the elements in the harsh, snowy Arctic wilderness. It's a very well-made film, but not very easy to engage with.

Ottway (Neeson) works as a wolf-sniper for a petrol company in the far reaches of Alaska, but is struggling with thoughts of suicide because he misses his wife (Openshaw) so much. Then on a flight to Anchorage, the plane is hit by a severe storm and goes down in the middle of nowhere. There are a handful of survivors, and Ottway soon becomes the leader when they are menaced by howling, growling wolves. Knowing they'd be safer in the treeline, he leads five other men from one peril to another.

It's fairly obvious early on that survival will require a miracle. If the wolves don't get them, they'll probably freeze to death. And if they survive the cold, they have cliffs, rivers and injuries to contend with. Sure enough, the plot quickly adopts a serial-killer approach, as the men fall one by one and the survivors struggle to maintain their resilience.

Yes, it's all rather grim. The scenery may be breathtakingly beautiful, but only if you have a warm cabin to view it from (and a wolf-sniper walking the perimeter). On the other hand, the plot is riddled with niggling improbabilities, the worst of which is the personal vendetta the alpha-wolf seems to have against Ottway. Not to mention the fact that we never believe these wolves are anything other than animated effects with an overwrought sound mix.

Thankfully, the actors all get fairly meaty characters to play, and even though some barely get a chance to register, they all have distinct personalities, thanks to some clever script detail and nice touches by the actors. Grillo has the most interesting role, as a tough guy forced to confront the fear he denies he has. And the film's oddly plaintive, elegiac tone also adds some interest, even if the repeated line "Live and die on this day" becomes a bit maudlin and sappy.



The Grey

Facts and Figures

Run time: 117 mins

In Theaters: Friday 27th January 2012

Box Office USA: $51.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $77.3M

Budget: $34M

Distributed by: Open Road Films

Production compaines: Open Road Films, Inferno Distribution, LD Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, Chambara Pictures, 1984 Private Defense Contractors

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 149 Rotten: 40

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Jules Daly, ,

Starring: as John Ottway, as Jerome Talget, as John Diaz, as Pete Hendrick, as Todd Flannery, as Jackson Burke, as Luke Lewenden, Ben Bray as Hernandez (as Ben Hernandez Bray), Larissa Stadnichuk as Flight Attendant #1, James Bitonti as Ottway's Father, Jonathan Bitonti as Young Ottway, as Ottway's Wife, Peter Girges as Company Clerk, Ella Kosor as Talget's Little Girl, Jacob Blair as Cimoski, Lani Gelera as Flight Attendant

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

Advertisement
City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.