Okay, I have to share some odd thoughts about the latest film to star Liam Neeson.
Anybody see that cable commercial a while back that’s about how you can start watching a film in one room and finish it in another? There were two versions: one with two robots fighting and then another with some rough-looking woodsman in an arctic scene dealing with wolves. Anyone? Well, regardless, a while back that commercial with the arctic scene and the wolves must have been stuck in my head as I went to bed one night because I dreamt of going to the movies and watching a film centered on that very subject matter. In less than a month “the Grey” was released. Weird, right?
On another very strange note, “the Grey” doesn’t use real wolves in it. I don’t think there was a single real wolf in the film! I think CGI is great stuff, but come on! Are there no wolves available to be filmed for a project like this? Okay, maybe this is a little off-subject, but it kind of offended me. I like it when real animals get some screen time, and I love canines. So, what gives with this film not using real wolves?
As for the story of “the Grey”, I can sum it up in a single word: depressing. This is not a survival tale. SPOLIER ALERT!!! This is a tale about plane crash victims. It is also about a group of men that have managed to carve a semblance of a life for themselves in a truly miserable setting. They drink, brawl, work, and sleep – and they have no intention of either leaving this life or changing their ways. There seems to be not a single character in this movie that had a stable lifestyle or a wife for that matter. Maybe a girlfriend (or two or three) comes into the picture, but I got the impression that all of these men did not have a sense of commitment to any relationship. None of them seemed really all that friendly either. So, forgive me for saying so, but with irredeemable characters that have to survive in the wilderness, I didn’t really care if they lived or died.
It should come as no surprise that all of these men die in the course of the film. It really shouldn’t. Of course, you want to root for these guys – somebody … ANYBODY – to make it out of this situation alive. This is a classic bad-situation-turns-worse kind of a story. A group of men crash land in arctic conditions. They have to battle weather and food shortages and sickness and injury, but the biggest threat is a huge pack of wolves that are “defending their den”. Everybody dies. No happy endings. So, I can spare you all the 2 hours it takes for this tragedy to unwind. Liam is fantastic – and is it just me or as he gets older, is he becoming a truly legendary tough guy? However no Scotsman could save this film. “The Grey” is not worth the effort. Maybe that’s why the wolves weren’t in the movie. They boycotted it.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE.