DIRECTOR: Joe Carnahan
The Grey is an ambiguous movie. Opening with a suicide note from our anti hero, Liam Neeson, who then proceeds to have his shot gun end thwarted by a the howling of a wolf, he ends up on a plane which crashes in the desolate yet beautiful Alaskan wilderness.
Neeson is a hunter who works for an oil company protecting his fellow workers from wolves who would try to pick them off. But after the crash which leaves just as handful of survivors, he must lead them on a trek which has a finite chance of leading the group to safety.
Pursued by a pack of ravenous, predatory and cruel wolves, their fate seems to be sealed yet this is a movie about survival, not just a survival movie. Neeson’s once suicidal character is now hell bent on making it home, even though he has little to return home to. His self destruction seems to have been put on hold, trumped by an even bigger crisis.
It can be argued that he is not prepared to killed and will go out on his own terms. Ultimately, The Grey poses a lot of questions and leaves us to interpret the answers but whether this is a metaphysical film or just a plain survival movie, its works.
Dark, violent yet thoughtful, many have gone on to see this a missed classic, over shadowed by other hits of that year and they maybe right but for me, I think that it does a good and solid job of conveying the human survival instinct at its best, whilst taking us on a trip through some of the worlds most beautiful yet brutal places, the snowy peaks of Alaska.
For a different take of this movie, check out “Live or die on this day”: A theory of The Grey”.