The Gist: A group of oil rig workers are travelling back to civilization on leave when their small plane crashes in the snowy wilds of Alaska. They are forced into a fight for survival against the elements and a pack of wolves defending their territory from the human intruders.
Prey & Predators: Wolves, Liam Neeson, Dermont Mulroney, Joe Anderson, Dallas Roberts, James Badge Dale, Frank Grillo.
The Flick: I know this has been out for a while but it is on my list for 2012 want to see’s, so here is my review. I love Liam Neeson, even before he evolved into an action hero, I’ve been a fan for years. I thought he was brilliant in Schindler’s List and Taken and now in The Grey. I have difficulty watching movies where animals are harmed (of course they really aren’t and these wolves are animatronics) but it still bothers me and I often find myself cheering for the animals not the humans. That didn’t change with this movie as a majority of the characters were unlikable but not Liam Neeson. After the plane crashes he quickly assumes the role of the alpha male, taking control and being the only one to use logic to survive against a blizzard and help a dying man face death. It also helps that Ottway (Neeson) is the resident hunter for the oil company having experience killing the animals to keep his co-workers safe. The group dwindles as the wolves move in to protect their territory and Ottway explains why the wolves are attacking them and what the survivors need to do to find help. And the outcome…not what I expected but it was a good ending and felt realistic or at least as realistic as fending off wolves could be. I’m not going to include the ending here as a spoiler because I think the viewer should judge it.
Critique: This is a very good movie, flawed in areas, tragic and difficult to stomach in others but it is a good movie. The actions of the characters don’t always make sense and in some of the scenes the wolves do look fake. Neeson’s back story is depressing and feels tacked on but it doesn’t detract too much from the movie.
Yah or Nah: I enjoyed this movie and as usual, I enjoyed Liam Neeson’s performance. I recently read a blog post calling for people to boycott the movie due to cruelty to wolves and promoting the killing of wolves because they are vicious predators. This post didn’t have any validity and was a short sided commentary on the flick (the writer boycotted it so he didn’t actually see it). This is a movie for the purpose of entertainment, not to promote the killing of animals anymore than a movie like Hostel or Saw is created to promote the killing of humans. Bottom line, this is a good movie with a good cast and beautiful scenery. Yah!