I was lucky enough to get into a screening of “the Grey” the new film starring Liam Neeson that premieres on Friday January 27th. The trailer for this film does not nearly do it justice. The trailer would lead you to believe that this is an action film where a group of middle aged men kill a pack of wolves with knives and broken mini bottles of liquor which, honestly, sounds pretty awesome. This movie has so much more to offer.
Neeson plays John Ottway whose job is to keep a town of Alaskan oil worker safe from wolf attack. Much like other recent films Neeson has been in (Taken, A-team, Gangs of New York) he plays a real badass. However, in The Grey, Neeson is a deeply depressed badass who contemplates suicide minutes into the film. As I’m sure you’ve seen from the trailer a group of workers are in a plane crash and the survivors are promptly attacked by a nearby pack of timber wolves (the animal not the basketball team Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio are not in this movie). Where most films of this type would build suspense with creepy music and “jump scares,” The Grey builds it with emotion. The viewer is introduced and quickly becomes attached to the group. There is constant fear of an attack but no formula for when it will happens, so you have to be on edge the whole time. As a means of survival the group turns to Neeson to lead them which is interesting because, although he is an expert, he isn’t quite so sure he wants to survive, but he knows the group needs him. The Grey is intense from the moment the plane takes off until the end credits, it’s scary, thrilling and sad a movie that should be considered for awards. It’s a very slow burn and much more story driven than the trailer would lead you to believe. When there is action its great, the wolves are vicious and fearsome almost as if they are killing the survivors for fun or sport. When I sat down I expected a popcorn movie where Liam Neeson punches a bunch of wolves and what I got was something much more. I won’t spoil any details here because nothing that happens is expected just go and watch for yourself next week.
If you have not seen it yet here is the trailer