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01/27/2012

Movie review: The Grey is a Jack London tale on steroids worth seeing

The-Grey-9-007Liam Neeson once played Oskar Schindler, and now despite the fact he is 59 he is a Hollywood action star. I don't get it either. The genre is lucky to have a guy who has the acting chops willingly play physical roles in sometimes preposterous situations (see Unknown). He can legitimize a movie.

The story: Neeson is paid to keep the employees at an oil refinery located in the far northern reaches of Alaska safe from bears, wolves, etc. It opens with a collection of roughnecks boarding a plane to return home. What ensues is a truly terrifying flying sequence that ends, you guessed it, with a crash in the middle of nowhere.
There are initially seven survivors, who band around Neeson. They have to fight off the extreme elements, and, of course, the wolves to find safety and keep living.

BLACK_WOLF_The people: Neeson is the star, but he is complemented well by veteran actors such as Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts and Frank Grillo. This movie is sold as a Man v. Wolves thriller, but it does delve into who these men are. There are a few scenes where you begin to feel for these guys beyond their predicament.

Fight scenes: There are at least a half dozen truly suspenseful and scary moments regarding the wolves and their attacks, and or the threat of attack. One scene where the men have to climb a rope across a high elevantion is effective as well.

Eye candy: None. But the scenery steals the whole movie. Shot in Smithers, B.C., this movie needs to be seen on the big screen to fully appreciate the massive scale of the mountains, the forest, and the frigid elements.

Be sure to ...: Stay for the final, very quick scene after the end of the credits.

Holes: Why is no one looking for the crashed plane, these men, or that the technology does not exist to find all of them? And then there is the fact that this many wolves are that aggressive to attack men.

Should you see it: The movie is not just some horror flick/action movie. It tries very hard to make statements about Man vs. Nature, Man v. Wolves, Man v. Himself. It works OK on that level, but succeeds more in providing a number of chills. There are some very brutal death scenes in this that are more than unsettling. 
It needs to be seen on the big screen. It's good, not great, but enjoyable and watching Neeson do his thing seldom fails.

 

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Rambo, John J.

Did you get to see this before it's release in some private screening?!?! I soooo need to become a member of the media. Tell me they didn't give you a media gift!?!???

Andy R.

Go see it. Just got back from movies and loved it. Great story. The ending isn't a huge surprise (at least while I was watching it) but the story was fun and exciting.

The Big Mac Blog

Andy - Did you stay for the scene after the credits?

Kendall

I think it looks good. His movies are usually pretty good.

Sterling from Dallas

Loved it. See it.

Sharon

Can someone please tell me what the scene is after the credits. I saw the movie this weekend and left (along with the rest of the theater) before the credits ended. I am now curious to know what I missed!!

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