Sunday, January 29, 2012

"The Grey"

Wow. This is a record. We're only one month into January, and yet here we are with one movie that's already blown me away.

That was certainly fast, in a year where I don't expect a lot of movies to be good. So here we go.

Let's get going with today's movie.

The Grey

Ottway (Liam Neeson) is a guy who kills wolves to keep them from killing people at an outpost in Alaska. On a flight to get out of the worst weather of the year, however, the plane he is on crashes in the middle of the wilderness. Thus, he bands together with the other remaining survivors to attempt to make it out alive while battling a pack of wolves that is always encircling them.

And uncompromising stuff ensues from there. It's of course an action survival film, with some very good set pieces. While some of the cuts are a little too close for comfort, I still had a good sense of what was happening in each action scene, which is always a good thing. The action itself is also compelling, which works on itself. Sure, the CGI on the wolves can be a bit questionable at times, but overall there is still quite a bit of tension involved.

But honestly, I think the action is the least of this movie's concerns. Because there is so much more that happens in this movie than the action. Rather, it's a meditative piece that's more about the characters than anything. And what compelling characters they are. We see their reactions as they are slowly picked off one by one, and we see them think about their situation as it gets more and more hopeless. And it unfolds beautifully, because we eventually come to like all of the characters in the story. This folds back on the action, making it compelling even when it gets difficult to tell what's going on.

And without the right actors in each role, it would've completely fallen apart. Every actor here gives it their all, and while Neeson is undoubtedly the center of the show, the other actors are all up to par with him. Of special note is Frank Grillo, who has a character arc so compelling I don't think I'll ever see a character arc quite like it throughout the rest of the year in film. Everyone else is great as well, and the ensemble overall is incredible.

There's not much more to say about The Grey. If you haven't seen it yet, change that, because it boasts some of the best character drama you can find in an action movie, and it's even better that this kind of movie can do this kind of thing so early in the year. It almost gives me hope for the rest of the movie-going season.



A must-see picture of the year.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

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