Nature Is A Ruthless Bitch In "The Grey," But It's No Match For Neeson

Nature Is A Ruthless Bitch In "The Grey," But It's No Match For Neeson

THE GREY

Genre: Survival thriller

Premise: A group of tough guy oil riggers led by Liam Neeson try to survive after their plane crashes in the middle of the wild.

Behind-the-Scenes: Director Joe Carnahan previously worked with Neeson on The A-Team.

The Good: Carnahan does a brilliant job of conveying the most brutal, unforgiving elements of nature.   The snowy environments, scary wolves, and swirling snow soundscapes all help to put viewers in the thick of the action.  The Grey achieves a near-constant atmosphere of dread and danger.  It also has a surprising meditative streak, where characters face death peacefully, with images of loved ones in their head.  Neeson is perfect for this kind of film - he's developed quite a late career surge playing the ultimate bad-ass.

The Bad:  Suffers from overfamiliarity.  The size and fury of the wolves are exaggerated to an almost silly degree, which may help the movie achieve some horror scares but detracts from the realism.  The very end of the movie (which just so happens to be the focus of the marketing campaign) cuts off abruptly and leaves you wanting more.

Should You See It?:  Yes.  This is a strong, scary thriller, with lots of interesting, "what would you do" moments.  The first must-see movie of 2012.

Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 stars.

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