“The Grey” is a tedious, poorly written survival film about a group of oil drillers whose plane goes down somewhere in Alaska. They are faced with trying to survive with barely any food, no shelter, and no way to contact anyone and horrible weather conditions.
The film stars Liam Neeson (“Taken”) as Ottway, the leader of the group. Through a series of flashbacks and some voice over work we see that Ottway is depressed and planning to take his life.
His suicide attempt is thwarted one night when he hears a wolf howling in the distance. He and his group board a plane and crash soon after takeoff, leaving only eight survivors.
They are stranded somewhere in the wilds of Alaska during a blizzard and soon realize that the storm and lack of supplies are the least of their problems. A ravenous pack of poorly crafted CGI wolves is closing in on them and killing Ottway’s men.
They decide to start their journey to safety by leaving the crash site, and also hopefully leaving the wolves behind. But the wolves continue to follow them, taunting them by eliminating them one by one.
The talented cast is completely wasted.
Neeson grunts and groans his way through the film, and it’s not until the end of the film that we find out why he was attempting suicide in the first place.
His supporting cast, Dermot Mulroney (“The Family Stone”), Dallas Roberts (“Walk The Line”), Frank Grillo, Joe Anderson, Ben Bray and James Badge Dale wear frostbitten makeup well but that’s about it. If they had a better script maybe we’d get to see why they were hired.
The film is based on the short story “Ghost Story” by Ian Mackenzie Jeffers and should have stayed a short story. The screenplay, written by Jeffers and director Joe Carnahan, is flat and goes nowhere.
“The Grey” comes at a time when most people will be scrambling to see the films that have been nominated for Oscars, which is a good thing. That way most people will forget about this film, at least until it comes out on DVD.
1 out of 5 stars