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Points: 1730 (Level 3)
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Liam Neeson continues his recent streak of more action-oriented roles that he started with Taken a few years back, this time in the arctic thriller The Grey. We’ve seen movies like this before where a plane crashes in the snow-covered wild and the passengers must find a way to survive. But in this one, their leader actually knows what to do in the situation. Neeson’s character, Ottway, works in the snowy wilderness as a sniper who shoots wolves when they attempt to attack fellow workers. The only problem is that the survivors of the crash don’t have any guns with them. So they really must rough it and protect themselves by whatever means necessary.
Other similar films have just dealt with the problem of freezing or having no food to eat. But with the constant presence of wolves, this film is much more thrilling. There are scenes where the guys are huddled around a campfire simply having a conversation with one another, yet at any time a wolf could come out of nowhere and try to kill them. You never know during any scene which may seem peaceful and easy to watch that one of the vicious predators might violently interrupt things. Not only does Ottway try to come up with the best places to avoid them, but he also must come up with various ways to cross certain huddles among the wild.
The plane crash at the beginning of the film is one of the best I’ve ever seen on screen. And the sound through scenes like that along with the ones of the wolves attacking is pretty incredible. On a different note, we also see flashbacks of Ottway’s childhood which made him the person he is today. He also imagines himself lying in bed with his wife throughout the film which gives us a sense of his purpose and what he’s trying so hard to get back to. This manages to inject some emotion into a film that keeps you at the edge of your seat. And who better to be your leader than Liam Neeson? He just seems like a guy who has the answers to everything. As far as a movie about a bunch of guys stranded in the harsh wilderness of Alaska, this is pretty much as good as it gets.
Recommendations: The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Se7en , 25th Hour
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