Liam Neeson’s kind of freaking me out lately. It’s not that he’s decided to go full-on action hero in his 50s. That’s cool. Gives me something to look forward to. No, it’s that his recent movies all seem to feature him grieving over a lost or deceased wife.
It’s a little weird. In the case of The Grey, particularly because he’s in the snow. Fortunately, this has nothing to do with the wife he’s pining for. (But from the commercials, it’s hard to know that.)
This movie was sort of a surprise to the Boy and I, actually. We were expecting more of a spy-like action thriller, like Unknown or Taken. In fact, this is a Ten Little Indians story, where the cast is plucked off one-by-one. Not by a mad slasher, but by The Wild. Particularly, but not exclusively, wolves. Not all of whom are grey.
Really didn’t see that coming.
The basic idea is that Liam works for an oil company up in Alaska, where his role is to shoot any animals that threaten the workers. Particularly, but not exclusively, wolves. On a flight into town with a bunch of these oil-drillin’ miscreants, the plane crashes, and the survivors—well, they’re basically screwed. Alaska’s a big ol’ place without a lot of Howard Johnson’s on a per-square-foot basis.
Any idea of huddling up by the wreckage—which Liam assures them is simply waiting for death, since there’s no way they’re going to be found—is cut short by the appearance of Very Large Wolves. The wolves aren’t even that hungry, apparently, indicating their aggression is due to the presence of interlopers in their territory.
In the weakest part of the movie, plot-wise, Liam suggests moving as quickly as possible to a forest barely visible on the horizon. (Because wolves hate forests?)
Anyway, the misfit group of survivors trudge across the tundra while Forces of Nature pick them off. It’s quite gripping really. Director and co-writer Joe Carnahan keeps things moving while his script (with Ian Jeffers) manages to feel fresh. It’s not really a horror movie, but it basically follows Joe Bob’s rule of great horror movies: “Anyone can die at any time.”
Except Liam, of course.
Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised.