Jan 28, 2012

The Grey Review

Well it's been awhile since I've been able to do a movie review. I kinda feel bad since this kinda my thing with Dust's Pony Pics Eternocte's Pony Music and Chameleon's Pony Meme, the review are kinda my thing. Luckily we've got some more movies and video games on the way for me to blather sweet nothings about. So without Further distraction here is: The Grey.

Once more into the fray,
to the last fight I'll ever know.
Live or die on this day.
Live. Or Die. On this day.

These words echo and reverberate through the coarse of
 of the film as Liam Neeson and six other members of a oil drilling team attempt to survive in the Alaskan wilderness after a plane crash leaves them stranded alone in the territory of a pack of veracious wolves.

John Ottway (Liam Neeson) is a guard for an oil drilling company in the northern state of Alaska, specifically hired to kill wolves and protect the workers should the two species cross paths. Ottaway boards a plane (for an unspecified reason, it is hinted that they’re ‘going home') with several other passengers. In an incredible thrilling scene the plane goes down, leaving Ottaway alone with six other survivors, who quickly find out through a pack of wolves, that they are not so alone. The survivors begin to move in an effort to stay alive from the cold and the wolves.

In many ways, The Grey reminded me of The Edge. Survivors of a plane crash trying to stay alive as some terrible beast attacks them. However in the Edge it was a large Kodiack Bear and that is what I remember. The first thoughts that come to me are the scenes of Anthony Hopkins fighting a giant bear with a stick. The scenes that register with me in The Grey are opposite.  Yes, I remember the wolves and how they began to pick people off like flies and the high level of carnage that was shown in their wake, but the scenes that I will remember are the quiet ones.

The Grey takes itself absolutely seriously. There is no nonsense or weird stuff thrown in because it sounded cool on paper. It is a stirring, powerful drama, of man vs. beast and man vs. nature. It deals with human interaction and reaction, how these characters deal with the situation they’re in. Whether by trying to shove off fear by trying to be a bad-ass, or turning to God for help, this is a story of man and his emotions. 

Liam Neeson shines throughout The Grey, and it is the quiet simple scenes of him that I will remember. Guiding a mortally wounded man through the process of dying, laughing around a campfire sharing past experiences and scores with the other survivors, calling out to God and begging him for a miracle, and most of all, watching him go through the wallets of the men who have died, and starring at their pictures. In this scene, Ottway says nothing, yet he seems to speak the most. I felt as though I could hear him thinking, “Who were these men? What did they feel when they looked at these pictures? This little girl, this young women, who were they to them?” These scenes are powerful and left me truly in awe contemplating the fragility and the shortness of life.

The Grey’s sound track only adds to the moments, able to build the suspense as you wait for a wolf to pop out of nowhere or add solemn to an already emotional scene. I particularly like how the wind would whip filling the theater with the noises of the blizzard, then shift to quiet as Ottway became lost in thoughts of his wife, only to be snapped back to reality and the noise to start again as quickly as it left.

The only real complaint was the wolves, when you catch glimpses of them in the dark or as a silhouette against the snow-filled wind, they don’t look all that real. This is a small complaint given the level of drama and emotion this movie puts out.

I Loved The Grey. Simply as that. Neeson gives a stunning performance, all the characters had unique personalities and all of them got to shine at one point. The Grey is a impactful story of brotherhood, friendship and tragedy. It is one of the best films I have seen in a long while and it really is, a must see.


1 comment:

  1. I didn't really pay attention to this movie, but now I really want to go see it. Thanks for the review!