Movie of the Day – The Grey

Man I have been slacking on my duties, but with a new writing gig, podcast work and generally do more work, I sometimes neglect my blogging duties.  I decided to whip my ass into shape with a movie that basically gave me a nerd boner as far as trailers were able to do for my expectations in an upcoming movie.  The Grey (or The Gray for those that don’t differentiate the spelling of it) was one of those movies that presented an intense looking movie in which Liam Neeson goes into the wilderness and fights the wildlife there.  I mean who the fuck didn’t want to witness that sort of badassery on screen?  Well damn the movie studios for making a misleading trailer, but to my surprise the final product is one of the gloomiest and harrowing stories about coping with the inevitability of death and a journey of survival.  Plus more Liam Neeson being a badass.

The Grey 1b

In The Grey, Liam Neeson leads an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks when their plane crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements – and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt – before their time runs out. — (C) Open Road Films

While I was yearning to see a movie with just Neeson going around and bare knuckle box the wildlife in this tale of survival, I was captivated by this bleak and unforgiving movie.  Although the end product of the film is something that is a deeply haunting and insightful film about the journey into death, the bleakness of terrain and constant loom of death in the air for the characters in the film, I was still looking for a Neeson punching movie.  How incredible would it be if this movie would have spawned a series of films where Neeson goes to a different wilderness setting and had to bare knuckle box his way with the wildlife there.  He could out in the outback and have to box kangaroos in order to make it to civilization?  Maybe he is stranded at sea and needs to fight some great white sharks?  It would be like a more action packed Steve Irwin show.

The Grey 1a

So for those that were hoping for a more action oriented affair with this movie, you will be a bit disappointed.  I know that the allure of seeing Liam Neeson everyone and everything is awesome, but The Grey offers up a lot more of an introspective look on the impending notion of dying or death itself.  The crew that Neeson is tasked with caring for are all in different states of death, some injured, some dead, some wasting away to the grip of death as they are hounded by wolves and mother nature herself.  It’s a fairly down flick that explores the fine throes of death as Neeson is guiding the men along the dark path and easing their passing in the best way possible.  It’s a struggle to keep them going throughout the flick as the movie turns from drama, to suspense to action and back again in a full circle that never lets go of your attention.  It’s a dreadful journey to take, but an enjoyable trip to take with Director Joe Carnahan who manages to turn a down situation that they are in, into a suspenseful ride that presents varying characters interactions who are all in a different state of mind.  They all work really well together, knowing the outcome that could await them the actors bring a powerful performance to the proceedings of death.

Every elements of the movies surroundings create a unique experience, a deeper movie masquerading underneath the veneer of an action movie.  Yeah the trailer was misleading, but what you got was probably more engaging that the run of the mill action, survival flick.  Neeson is the best of the film, some Jedi like survivalist who is charged with caring for the crew of the plane, even after they crashed in the wilderness.  He guides them through the woods, comforting them in their final moments of death, guiding them along that dark journey.  It is certainly a movie that challenges the audience into accepting the outcome of the movie, one that doesn’t seem to have a happy ending coming and tries to calm you enough to accept what will happen.  It’s a brilliant little piece of directing from Carnahan who subverts our expectations and presents one of the bleaker, but thought provoking thrillers that came out in 2011.

About Nick
I am just another blogger putting his thoughts into a website. My love is movies so most of my musings will be movie related. I work as an online marketer for an advertising company and when I am not earning a paycheck, I moonlight as a vigilante film blogger.

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