DVD Review: The Grey

Review by Toby Lattimore

The Grey (15)

Liam Neeson, who is enjoying huge popularity after his surprise hit Taken, heads up this bleak drama/action film about a group of oil workers and low-downs who crash in the Alaskan snowy wastes with no hope of salvation. If the cold and starvation aren’t enough to deal with they are being hunted by a pack of very angry wolves and have to fight for their lives against these impossible odds.

Aside from the motley crew of characters the landscape is very much a central figure in this tail, the bleak savannas are beautiful but total encompassing as the blizzard sucks in the solitary bodies. Director Joe Carnahan uses a number of devices to increase the tension. Powdery snow instantly starts to cover exposed victims and although at times bloody the harshness of a scene is dampened by the instant frosting creating a sense that there are two assailants at work here; wolves and the cold.

Dermot Mulroney (Zodiac) plays Talget and Dallas Roberts plays Hendrick but they have very little character development to sink their teeth into and the only character who stands out other than Neeson himself is the agitated Frank Grillo as Diaz who hams up the role in a successful attempt to break up the monotony as the film slowly moves along.

This is largely the problem with The Grey. At times we have the slow tragic events drawn out and because the characters have not connected with the viewer it is very difficult to sustain an interest. Yet the wolves themselves are savage and mystical, keeping you entranced when they appear and the land demonstrates an awesome nature which is captivating.