By John Delia
Jan 26, 2012 09:05 AM EST

The Grey Theatrical Review

The Grey Is A totally encompassing visual and audio experience of uncontrollable peril.
The Grey Theatrical Review
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Exciting, terrifying, intriguing and thrilling The Grey provides a stunning entry in the erratic first month of the year.  Good acting all around, electrifying cinematography and able direction keeps the film moving and entertaining.  If you like a white-knuckle panic film that challenges your worst fears, The Grey will have you in its snarling teeth.
John Ottway (Liam Neeson) has been working as sentry over an oilrig in Alaska killing ravenous wolves that attack the crews.  It's been a long and arduous job, but he and several crewmembers have earned some vacation from their pervasive jobs. Boarding an airplane with snow-crusted wings would worry Ottway, but he just wants to get out of the God forsaking place. 
Unfortunately the airplane gets hit by an ice storm and crashes into a sub-arctic field.  With a group of survivors, a blinding snowstorm, a small amount of rations and unsubstantial cover, the small band decides to walk out of the certain death tundra. Battling injury, freezing temperatures and a vicious pack of wolves. Ottway leads the men in a possible chance at life.  When the Alfa male wolf figures out the extent of the pack's prey, Ottway's chances look bleak.
In a usual good performance Neeson makes his character strong but vulnerable to the elements. In the very beginning of the film we see Ottway shoot a wolf in full gallop just in time before it can do harm to the workers.  He goes over to the dieing animal and places his hand on it's slowing rising chest and feels the death of the wolf to its last breath.  It's an omen, a reaching out from his past and a warning of things to come.  His Ottway knows the danger, has reason to fear it, but looses no time in facing his most fearless enemy.
I like the way director Joe Carnahan (Smokin Aces) takes control of the group making them feel the elements and showing how each step affects their ability to cope.  The weather, terrain and the physical abilities of the survivors play a big part of the film.  And Carnahan shows that with danger at every turn you can see the group slowly failing. The fight for survival gets so intense in the movie that I found myself looking to the sides of the screen checking to see if an attack by wolves was their next challenge.  When the vicious animals do strike, Carnahan makes sure you not only see the carnage taking place, but also the sounds of ripping and tearing of teeth in flesh.
The Grey has been rated R by the MPAA for violence/disturbing content including bloody images, and for pervasive language.  The film could have a strong effect on the meek and timed.  Please make sure you understand the reason for the R rating and use this caution wisely.VERY IMPORTANT: Stay past the credits to see a final clip that gives resolve to the ordeal.
FINAL ANALYSIS: A totally encompassing visual and audio experience of uncontrollable peril. (A)

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MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 193 minutes
Distributed By: Open Road Films

For more information about The Grey visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

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