Thursday, 26 January 2012 22:46

The Grey Featured

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Open Road Films, Inferno, 1984 Private Defense Contractors, Liddell Entertainment and Scott Free Productions present an R rated, approximately 110 minute, action, adventure, drama, directed by Joe Carnahan, written by Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers with a theatrical release of January 27, 2012.

 

Ottway (Liam Neeson) has a job at the end of the world working for a Petroleum company in Alaska as a wolf hunter protecting the employees from being attacked.  One would think the bitter ten below temperatures, high winds and blizzard conditions would be enough to kill ones spirit or life in general!  Most of the employees are criminals, low life assholes with no real direction or aspirations in life.  Ottway carries with him a letter he wrote to a mysterious woman he flashes back to on a regular basis throughout the story.  One night he contemplates suicide as he murmurs the words written years ago by his father, “live and die on this day” but when a pack of wolves cry out he lowers the rifle from his lips.

Several of the men board a plane headed back to their families until suddenly cold air enters the cabin and the plane dramatically crashes in the wilderness.  Ottway wakes up alone in the snow with nothing in site until he runs across a peak only to find the plane in pieces.  He searches for survivors finding very few some badly wounded some in shock but many dead or near dead.  When all is said and done just seven men remain to face the bitter temperatures and harsh conditions but little did they know that their worst nightmares are yet to hunt them down one by one.  They have invaded the territorial range of 300 miles and with their killer range of 30 of a pack of wolves lead by one mean, large, black ferocious alpha that goes against any references of their fear of mankind.

As the seven men Ottway, Flannery (Joe Anderson) the loud mouth, Hernandez (James Badge Dale), Burke (Nonso Anozie), Talget (Dermot Mulroney) the level-headed one, Diaz (Frank Grillo) the trouble-maker and Henrick (Dallas Roberts) come face to face with this alpha one night they learn that their own days are numbered before they fall victim to the pack.  Flannery (Joe Anderson) references the film “Alive” about the plane carrying soccer players that crashed in the Alps leaving them with the only option for food which was to eat each other.  Not an option for these men at least not yet!  They decide to work in 2 hour shifts to keep watch until morning arrives leaving their numbers to dwindle to six.  I must say that it takes a lot to make me jump in my theatre seat and this film not only left me sitting on the edge of my seat but also jumping through it several times.

Ottway seems to take the lead of the men suggesting that they try to make a run for it to the trees within sight from their plane.  Running though is not an option since the snow is so heavy and the men fall deep into it above the knees.  In referencing the wild, the term survival of the fittest definitely plays part throughout this film as the strongest of the men seem to live the longest.  It seems that the wolf’s mentality is testing that of the men leading them to wonder if revenge is their purpose for stalking.

Interesting how the writers bring in a sense of levity amongst the men’s conversations let alone that of heaven and hell, death, life, family, love and even sex.  In a leap of faith, literally, the remaining men move on making it through the night.  The director not only shows the audience some spectacular cinematography but captures the will to survive within each of these characters but it is Neeson that really performs making the audience feel his fear, his loss, his hopes, his pain and yet his will to survive.  Leaving him to question if there truly is a God that leads him to the last good fight he’ll ever know, not afraid to live and die on this day. 

This film is amazing, yes a bit unbelievable in regards to the actions of the wolves in the wild but that aside the director makes you fear this beautiful yet vast wilderness of Alaska.  I absolutely enjoyed this film from beginning to end.  There are many written dialogues to make you think about the world we live and die in and what it all means.  This film makes you realize ones will to fight to stay alive or rather accept that same will to die.  When the story starts off it seems a bit raw but shortly after the plane crashes we are dropped within an unforgiving world one hopes to never face in a life time.  All seven men do a phenomenal job as actors as a whole but it is Liam Neeson that truly controls this film from beginning to end making it real to our senses appreciating life yet fearing death but fighting for every breath we take in every second of the days we live.  Being an animal person I have always heard that in the wild a wolf would rather go around a human scent than cross it.  In this story the wolves not only cross the scent of man but test their wills of survival.  Written and frightfully enjoyed with three paws out of four I’m Jon Patch.  Make sure you bring your parka it might just get a bit chilly watching these men try to escape the icy elements and wolves while on a run for their lives.

Read 3260 times Last modified on Thursday, 26 January 2012 22:53
Jon Patch

Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin' Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. I worked with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for19 years under the title of V.P. Affiliate Relations and Programming, later worked with Genesis Communications until starting a new network ATRN.  Currently working with GAB Radio Network and with Josh Leng at Talk Media Network.  I am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin' Pets, for the past 29 years... My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind whom all share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. This is the only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...

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