The Grey Reviews
A group of oil rig workers become stranded in the frozen wilderness after their plane crashes. Besides freezing and lack of food, their primary threat turns out to be a ravenous pack of wolves. It becomes a fight for survival as each character must fight until the very end.
"The Grey" is not only my second favorite movie of all time, but is an amazing movie at that. Sadly, this film was plagiarized by misleading marketing tactics that portrayed this to be a false action film. The reality of the matter is that this film is a gripping tale of survival and the fight that fuels a man's survival. It's a deeper character study that's dark and slow, and it is definitely not some action flick. I personally think that if the trailers were different, this movie would've received a lot more positive reviews. For now though, this is why I think this movie is a fantastic film.
First off, Liam Neeson is perfect as the lead character "Ottway". He brings the physicality and the emotional balance to his character that makes him an intelligent and relatable protagonist. Neeson takes the role and owns it, easily creating one of his most memorable performances to this date. The rest of the cast, although some expendables, all filled their roles really well. Frank Grillo is able to bring a sympathetic side to his character while really bringing out the "asshole" personnel of his character. Guys like Dermot Mulroney and Dallas Roberts also did great in their roles, and the rest of the supporting cast filled in nicely.
The screenplay, in my opinion, was actually very clever and filled with meaningful dialogue. I normally don't appreciate movies that fill their lines with a plethora of curse words, but it felt kind of natural for the characters and the situation at hand. It's definitely sore to the ears at first but after watching this film almost a dozen times, it certainly becomes more comfortable. The character development we get from the dialogue is actually very interesting and helps you attach to the characters at hand, and this movie really does a great job of digging deep into what fuels a man in his quest for survival. All of these characters want to live, and they all fight for something different.
The story overall is a powerful and underrated exposition that left a bigger mark on my life than I ever thought it would. When I first watched this movie just four years ago, I was so captivated and stunned. The more I thought about the film, the more heartbreaking and impactful it became. It has had such an impact that I am even getting one the film's quotes tattooed on my body, which is saying a lot. If you really dig deep into this movie, it's one that you can appreciate a lot more.
The thing I absolutely hate is when people either say something is "trash" or just "amazing". What makes something complete trash? I feel it's not only disrespectful, but unintelligent and arrogant to call something trash just because it's different or you don't completely understand it. It's perfectly fine if people don't like a movie, but it's different when they can't back that reason up. Due to misleading advertisements, many people didn't give this movie a fair shot or meaningful analysis and this film did receive a lot of hate. I just ask that if you do watch this film, give it the due respect of analyzing it to the best of your ability, then make your judgement from there. Rant over, now let's continue.
The visuals and use of certain camera shots were not only very creative, but it sent chills down my spine. (Minor, minor spoiler) There was one scene where the men were huddled around a fire at the crash site. They then hear the deep growl of a beast, so they grab a fire stick and walk over to investigate. In the dark lies a pair of haunting, glowing eyes, then more eyes start to appear around them. It was shots like these that were so creative using their low budget and it made the film very unique in a way. There are plenty of survival movies out there and plenty of Man Vs. Wild adventures, but it's moments like these that make the film memorable.
The soundtrack was also chilling and beautiful orchestrated, setting the tone and the scenes very well. I felt that it matched the film perfectly and it really emphasized and added onto the scenes rather than detract from them.
There are so many amazing and beautiful things about this movie that I absolutely loved, and this movie has had such a big impact on my life mentally. I was so affected by this movie after the credits rolled that I couldn't even think straight, and this is why it's my second favorite movie of all time.
Liam Neeson put on a great performance. However, he is the same character as he is in all of his other films... Always knowing exactly what to do while claiming he's making it up along the way one way or another.
The existential philosophy while men face death is rehashed, but still intriguing nonetheless. However, the film did an excellent job with creating a genuine tension as day turned into night and the men were being hunted by wolves. It got me to start thinking what I would do in these situations, and by the end of the movie I realized I was mentally exhausted because I was fully engaged from the beginning to the end of the film.
Overall, great film to get your nature survival fix.