Friday, March 9, 2012

The Grey

This survival/horror movie is quickly summarized: A group of oil workers take a plane, it crashes, seven workers survive the crash, but are hunted by a (seemingly enormous) pack of wolves. Easy enough to follow.

To me, this was a good, but not really a mind-blowing movie. There weren't a lot of enticing scenes that captivated me in their profundity, but maybe that wasn't what the makers were trying to do here. I mean, you can easily say this was a basic survival movie meant to scare the audience, and it did gave me a few thrills now and then. The way those wolves crawled up on the survivors was sometimes very unexpected and made me jump ten feet high. Joe Carnahan really succeeded in taking a relatively 'safe' moment where you don't expect anything to happen (e.g. in the camp of the survivors), and literally throw a wolf in there. That's what made this movie worth watching after all.

The reason I didn't really fall off my chair with awe for this movie is twofold.
First of all, there were a lot of scenes where the storyline was 'deepened' with emotional flashbacks and tales from the past. Many of these scenes seemed to me like they were put in there not for their content, but to create these 'safe' moments, as I said before. The emphasis was more on the scaring instead of the emotional ecstasy. Mind you, not all of these scenes were dull (e.g.: when they leave Diaz behind, or the poem that runs through the whole movie.).
Secondly, the wolves. Now I don't know much about wolves, and I have no doubt they are smart animals, but those wolves were extremely smart. Closing in like an attack squadron, flanking the survivors, almost 'talking' to eachother, or holding a mexican stand-off with the survivors... It all seemed a bit unrealistic.

A few things I want to mention that i did really like:
There was the acting of Liam Neeson. That guy almost exudes a sense of calmth. This calmth is nicely captured by Carnahan on several occasions, like in the beginning, when a guy dies because of the planecrash.
Also, there are a few scenes where the viewer is taken into the dream of Ottway, and then pulled back into reality quite brutally. Approved.

To conclude: a movie that definitely will give you a few thrills, with some nice elements, but nothing more than that.

IMDb: The Grey