DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan
CAST: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts.
CLASSIFICATION: 16 LV
RUNNING TIME: 155 minutes
Okay, since when do wolves hunt and devour humans? The idea that a pack of wolves would prey on a group of men is a bit absurd, but that’s what this film is all about: people being hunted by wolves in the wilderness.
Yes, it’s Hollywood and it is the norm to distort reality a little in the name of art. I, too, can make- believe for a few hours for a science-fiction movie, but this film is a bit too unrealistic.
Seven people survive a plane crash in the middle of Alaska. Struggling to survive they trek on foot to evade the vile predator-like wolves out to turn them into prey.
Why? Because they can. And apparently the intruders are near their feeding den which is apparently a no-go zone for any human.
Three days in blizzard-like conditions, a wolf bite to the knee and jumping into icy water would give anyone instant hypothermia.
But not Neeson.
He plays John Ottway who leads the group out of danger and tries to protect them from the fangs of the wolves. The Irishman, the great action legend we have come to love, does his usual solemn-faced hero routine to perfection.
However, the plot involving the wolves is hard to swallow. Real wolves don’t hunt humans over kilometres of territory as the movie depicts, unless perhaps they are near-starving. Despite this, the film doesn’t fault in delivering the harrowing wilderness survival thriller experience. It explores the human will to live as much as it shocks its audience with the frightening wolf attacks.
In these attack scenes, director Carnahan slows down the pacing so one can fully absorb the degree of danger. The death scenes are visually striking compared to standard efforts in the genre.
Thrown into the mix is the stereotyped stubborn character, played by Diaz, played by Grillo, who rebels against the situation. However, the director has far more interesting plans in store than usual. The suspenseful drama with high-adrenaline scenes lurking around every corner has an overall gritty tone, with picturesque cinematography of the snowy landscape. This maximises the intensity of every important scene.
Carnahan touches on faith and the will to live, which is thought- provoking viewing. The Grey gives its audience plenty of emotion. Carnahan’s choices on how to tell the story, and an ending untypical of the genre, also gives it oomph.
If you liked… Troll Hunter… you will like this.