The Grey (2012)

Posted in Reviews by - March 11, 2012
The Grey (2012)

The Grey is a survival movie in which John Ottway (Liam Neeson) and a group of oil workers crash in the frozen Alaskan tundra and try to make it to safety, whilst being pursued by a pack of merciless wolves.

Despite Liam Neeson putting in yet another solid performance cast in a solemn, brooding role, the plot meanders towards the realms of the ridiculous as the less than expert group of survivors were too frozen to either put up a fight, or even think clearly, unless it involved telling stories around the campfire.

Consequently, the group decided against constructing a survival barricade from the wreckage of their plane, scavenging for supplies, forging weapons against the wolves which they could then view as a possible food source, while waiting for rescue, in favour of traipsing across the freezing open countryside and into the woods without even a pointy stick to protect themselves. Besides, as John Ottway lamely explains:

“If they send fifty planes, maybe they’ll find us. But they won’t send fifty planes, because it won’t matter, because…we won’t have time to wait for the one or two that they will send.”

Other baffling moments in the movie included the chipper group surviving the frozen temperatures with mini camp fires; and a guy jumping 30 feet across a 100 foot cliff into some trees with a load of bed sheets attached to him, which they miraculously drummed up from nowhere . Even more incredibly, three wolves were somehow already waiting to pounce on them on the other side. I could go on but my best suggestion to you is that if you’re after a smart survival tale, watch The Edge, instead.

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This post was written by James
Hi, My name is James Atticus and I have had a keen passion for movies ever since being blown away while watching 'A Trip to the Moon' back in 1902. Hardly surprisingly, I am a big sci-fi and horror fan, although my love of film extends throughout all the genres. One of my favourite quotes about cinema was told to me by Alfred Hitchcock, who said: "For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake." To which I replied, "Don't mind if I do!"


  • Rebook

    I don’t understand why people hated the ending so much.. I thought it was good he knew he was going to die there was no avoiding it.. the whole time their objective was to walk away from the wolf den but in that last scene he had realized they were walking toward it the whole time, which is why it only got harder as they went on. I thought the way he layed the wallets all perfectly with the gps and his incredible acting about to go out in a bang made the ending amazing! who cares about a fight

    • Amr

      Shame on liberal Hollywood for producing this POS. Filmmakers attend fundraisers for the environment and wildlife conservation and then promote a film that is about rogue wolves.’ How specious.Wolves are about to be de-listed from the Endangered Species Act in Wyoming, and in Montana and Idaho hunters can shoot as many wolves on sight that they want.This film will perpetuate an erroneous judgment about wolves. The hypocrisy is astounding. Truly, astounding.

      • Adriana

        Actually, there have been no proven wolf attacks in North America. The Canadian attacks were of discovered bodies that had been eaten by wolves but were probably killed by bears. There were no witnesses. Wolves regularly feed on carrion. Ironically there have been a few deaths by pet wolves in captivity, but far far fewer than those by pet dogs. Wolves as killing predators are a part of Russian mythology with many fables around. If wolves were indeed dangerous, they wouldn’t be re-introduced into the environment as they are now. Unfortunately ranchers and farmers are quick to kill these animals as they consider them a threat even though more livestock is killed by domestic dogs. Of course, it’s just a movie. On another note, there is no reason to be so rude.

        • Luciano

          Another run of the mill I’m-the-main-character-grieving-over-my-lost-wife-and-so-I-carry-a-photo -of-her-with-me-everywhere-I-go’ subplot garbage. Honestly, if writers in Hollywood would stop using every cliche in the book, or better yet, stop using the first idea they thought of every time, we may actually see a stop to s**t like this, as well as the constant stream of remakes.How about writing something worthy of being remade for once?

  • Susana

    the cast crew ate a wolf to get into the role. It’s animal crutely. Yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. this is mine, I won’t be supporting this movie. As we speak wolves are being hunted for no reason at all. Please, there is no need for name calling, I have done nothing to offend anyone, but now you are aiming to hurt me. If you can stomach the fact that real dead wolves were used as props then by all means. Enjoy the movie, i’m sure it’s a real thriller.

    • Vicky

      I saw a test screening of this last month. This is easliy Joe Carnahan’s best film. I’ve seen all his work in theaters but nothing grabbed me like this. What impressed me was the level of depth that (some) of the characters get. This could’ve very easliy been a B movie slasher flick with a killer picking them off one by one type thing but it’s not. It’s not as elevated as ALIEN in that sense but it’s close. You feel for Neeson and most of his crew throughout the picture and they all get their moment to shine with a heartfelt scene (or two). It’s a welcome surprise by how good those moments are pulled off.The plane crash. Bitchin’. About as effective as the crash in CASTAWAY. When it was over, the audience applauded.The wolves. Excellent. Scary as hell. A few genuine holy shit jump moments. Carnahan makes them very effective by showing them at a minimun ala JAWS or ALIEN and they are aided by an excellent sound design that moves them beyond wolves as animals and more like wolves as monsters (in a good way). Even if some of the CG is a touch CG, you’re still scared for the characters to survive them.Liam Neeson. Buzz was that he could get an Oscar nod for this and he damn well should. Most of the movie he’s playing the good ol’ reliable Liam Neeson we know and love, but towards the end as the walls close in, holy shit, he brings it. The one nagging problem. He does not fight the wolf with glass knuckles. At all.At least not in the cut I saw. EVERYTHING up to that point works and then it’s over. Carnahan is trying to say It doesn’t matter if we see him fight the wolf, he’s at peace with himself and his fate and that’s enough, emotionally. But it’s not. The way the film is being marketed, the trailer, the poster. It’s making it look like a NEESON VS. WOLF showdown type thing. And I want to see that! And I bet you do too! I admire Carnahan for trying something ballsy like that, but it doesn’t work here. It’s a major emotional set up with a non pay off.But I stress, everything else in this movie rocks. I really, really loved it. It just needs an ending. I pray Carnahan is able to get Neeson back and shoot the fight that WE’RE ALL promised in the marketing. Not just for commercial reasons or because the good guy has to fight the bad guy in the third act etc it’s because the story calls for it. That confrontation is set up through out the entire film. Watching, you expect it. And you don’t get it. It needs to be there.If Carnahan puts in a final face off with the wolf that is emotionally satisfying, this could easliy be one of the best Man Vs Nature films ever made.

      • Silvana

        The fact that a viewer can comment on plot structure and CG problems belies the fact that this is a good film. The flashback shots of Neeson in bed with an actress that looks like his (grand) daughter are creepy. The wolves look like the dogs in the original OMEN.

        • Will

          Great review. Neeson is out-standing here and gives one of the best performances that we have seen from him in a very long time. The rest of the film also works because there’s not only this certain paranoia going on but even when the “action” comes, it’s tense, brutal, and surprising. Best film of the year so far even though that’s definitely not saying much.

    • Julian

      is another TOUCHING THE VOID??uhmmm yeah ..just like A-TEAM was going to be as big a reoobt as BATMAN but instead lost so much money Fox couldn’t even justify one let’s see .we now have wolves pick off stranded survivors .TV movie at best and i do like Neeson .but ain’t gonna spend 10 bucks to see in a theatre rental maybe.OPEN ROAD goes two for two with KILLER ELITE and now the gray .sad

  • Laura

    The movie looks action packed, but in reality wolves in the wild steer clear of humans like the plague. I love Liam Neeson as an actor but vilifying wolves to make a buck is just bad taste. It’s true that wolves control their territory and protect it at all costs but only against other wolf packs or smaller predators that stray to close. Also a sharpened stick would have been a better weapon than broken mini booze bottles taped to his hands. As far as Open Road goes, I applaud them for being brave enough to start releasing movies outside of the studio system. Keep up the great work, Tom Ortenberg, looking forward to the new system knocking the studios down a notch or two. This system is going to be a game changer for indie filmmakers.

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