The Grey starts out with a deep, quiet retrospect that introduces Ottway (Liam Neeson) to the viewer. We learn about certain aspects of his life that make him someone you can connect with, on various levels. It’s quite the attention-getting start for a movie like The Grey.
His job takes him to Alaska, where he stands guard over roughnecks and he shoots wolves that try to attack the men.
We learn about the woman he loves, who is always on his mind but their status seems questionable and his desire to live seems a bit low.
Apparently it’s time for the gang to go home and they pile into an airliner but the flight is not a pleasant one. It crashes and we have several survivors. Several traumatized & frightened survivors.
Ottway seems to be “the man.” He’s very cool, calm and collected despite the circumstance. Even in the face of the wolves, he stays the calmest amongst all the roughnecks.
This is the story of survival in the wild with nothing but what’s on their backs and a few things they scavenge from the wreckage.
Except for the wolves who have discovered this group of survivors. And it’s then a different kind of survival battle, as the wolves “work” on the group.
It’s a fun movie and the cinematography is rather wonderful to behold as it pulls you in and sets you in their world. (Really, how often do I ever say that?) Despite the situation, there’s some serious beauty to behold at times in this landscape of ice and snow that they’re set in.
There are some great scenes like when you see the wolves eyes reflected from the fire light… or when you hear the howls, and not too far away, you see their breaths.
There are a few aspects of the movie that need to be ignored. The organizational capabilities of the wolves seem rather persistent and organized. Almost other-worldly, and it’s not that kind of movie.
In the closing act, there’s a point where Neeson cries out to god, asking for help, to show him something… after a few moments, he decides, “F* it. I’ll do it myself.”
Other than that, it’s an fun, engaging movie.
I think it’s fully worth any rental fee and if you’re a Liam Neeson fan, The Grey is a worthy movie to add to your collection! It’s a classic, tough, stoic, get-the-job-done kind of guy, Neeson role that he easily fills.
The Grey was written, directed and produced by Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, The Fourth Kind, Smokin’ Aces) and aside from Neeson, the cast includes Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, Nonzo Anozie, James Badge Dale and Anne Openshaw.
What do I mean by an “expected ending?” I guess you’ll have to watch it to find out.
SPOILER (Highlight if you want to see the scene that the movie ends with: [The final scene, he's pinned in a bad spot and has strapped sharp objects to his hands to face off against the alpha wolf. The movie ends, with a close-up on Neeson's face, and as he lunges to engage the wolf, the movie ends. It's up to the viewer to decide, or extrapolate the expected or surprise outcome.]