Good, Bad & Ugly Review: The Grey

The Grey
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 79% (Critics) / 76% (Audience)
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Written By: Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts and Frank Grillo
Studio: Open Road Films

Synopsis: A group of oil-rig workers must fight the elements and a pack of bloodthirsty wolves when their plane goes down in the Alaskan wilderness.

The Good:
Liam Neeson has gotten into the habit lately of portraying strong-willed, broodingly introspective, badasses in movies like TAKEN and UNKNOWN and as the tortured wilderness man Ottway he continues that trend. While some actors tend to find a style of acting and type of character they like in their later film work and basically phone in repeat performances (this means you Mr. Pacino), Neeson tends to imbue these similar characters with their own individuality and makes them work.
I also have to get a bit of kudos to the performance of the rest of Neeson’s crew of oil-rig workers, particularly Dermot Mulroney (almost unrecognizable with salt and pepper hair and hidden behind a pair of glasses) as a dad who just wants to get home to his little girl and Frank Grillo who takes what could have been the forgettable one-note role of the group asshole and imbued him with a nice mix of edginess and pathos.
The movie is shot beautifully too. Juxtaposing all of the natural splendor of the Alaskan wilderness with the horrors that were befalling the characters was a neat trick that Carnahan was able to pull off.

The Bad:
I would have liked to have seen more of the characters lives before they all got on that doomed flight.

The Ugly:
Some of the shots of those CGI wolves were pretty janky and tended to make what should have been really tense scenes lose a little bit of their impact.

Final Verdict: THE GREY is a manly man survival movie with a lot more intelligence lurking under its grizzled exterior. While the action scenes are done v try well and there are more than enough of them, the quitter scenes that delved into who these men were and why they wanted to fight so hard to survive were what really made this film for me. B

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