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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

[7.75/10] The Grey (2012)


The Grey (2012)

Brief review: Every once in a while a film comes along, that grabs you instantly and throws you into an experience so deeply compelling, that you forget about everything else. Joe Carnahan's thoughtful, intelligently crafted effort, "The Grey", is one of those movies. It's a fight for survival against the harsh nature under terrible circumstances, so believably depicted and so emotionally profound, it will make you experience the struggles of the characters in a way you don't expect to. Even though "The Grey" seems familiar on paper, it turns out feeling different and unlike anything you've seen before, due to its strong, well-written script, multi-layered performances and Carnahan's smooth, yet taut direction, that keeps the narrative tense, neat and in focus. The movie is not only constantly intense, but also scary, in a realistic sort of way. While the remote location, snowy environment and whistling blizzards are enough to give you the chills, it's the wolf attacks that are truly frightening. The plain crash sequence and the one involving a rope over a precipice also deserve a special mention, as those are also nerve-wrackingly terrifying. Set in Alaska, "The Grey" is just as visually astounding as it's chilling, featuring stunning locations and a beautifully bleak cinematography with some shots that will take your breath away. Liam Neeson delivers a powerhouse performance as the despaired man who revives his faith in order to survive, and the supporting cast is pretty much on par.

Overall summary: As substantial as its characters and as chilling as its harshly beautiful setting, "The Grey" is a frighteningly realistic story of survival with a surprising emotional depth, that will keep you intrigued, entertained, and on the edge of your seat until the very end.

32 comments:

Ty said...

Good review! Thought this a solid thriller. Liam Neeson put in his usual great performance.

Nebular said...

Thanks, Ty. Thought it was a solid thriller too, even something more than that. Liam Neeson never disappoints.

InfinitePlans said...

Sounds like a pretty decent movie, definitely gonna see it. Neeson is just too badass!

Nebular said...

InfinitePlans, decent? It's much more than that - it's enthralling, it's tense, it's scary, it's moving... it's great!

Russell Betney said...

I think you are spot on there. Neeson is great and the tension didn't let up for the whole film.

Nebular said...

Russ, glad you felt the same way about it. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Agree a hundred percent! The trailer was misleading - it portrayed it as an action movie, but it was a drama with incredible depth.

Michele (TheGirlWhoLovesHorror) said...

Neeson never disappoints me either, so I think I'll watch this one. Sounds awesome.

Nebular said...

Alex, glad to hear that. I don't really remember the trailer nor the way it's being presented, but I hate when trailers misled the audience.

Nebular said...

Michele, I think this one is right up your alley. It;s a thoughtful and intelligent thriller with horror elements in it.

Jeremy said...

I wanted to see this a little, but your review has bumped it up my to be watched list.

Nebular said...

Jeremy, glad I made you reconsider. The Grey is the second must-see movie of 2012, along with Chronicle. I hope you enjoy it.

Matthew Vanacore said...

I agree. It was an enjoyable movie. The emotional depth, as you shrewdly highlighted, sealed it for me.

Excellent review!

Nebular said...

Matty, I wouldn't call it enjoyable, because actually nothing pleasant or fun was happening on screen, but it was quite absorbing and very entertaining to watch.

Thank you so much, mate. :)

farawayeyes said...

When I saw a trailer for this one, I thought - a definite pass.

Before I moved to the Caribbean, I lived in Idaho. On more than one occasion we had wolves (big wolves) on our property, very close to the house. Those glowing eyes in the trailer, about put me over the edge. BUT, your review has me rethinking my decision.

I'll add it to Netflix. You had me at 'emotionally profound'. Thanks.

Kaijinu said...

Glad you like it, too! Finally, a decent 2012 movie!

Melissa Bradley said...

Hmmm...A survivalist tale featuring men finding out how strong they are in the face of big scary nature. I think this should have been made with women. :)

Your review is very thoughtful and if it grabbed you this much, maybe I'll give it a watch.

Sorry I've been away for the last couple of days. Things are insane around here right now. Hugs, my dear. :)

Russell_Oz said...

Great write-up Nebular, you are right on the money!

This is easily one of the year's best films and I thoroughly enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. Based on the trailer it looked like an action flick but you summed it up perfectly by using the term "profound" and that's exactly what it was.

My friend and I ended up chatting about it for 3hrs after watching it. By the end of the movie I was just exhausted, it moved me.

An excellent review and a film deserving of such praise.

Nebular said...

farawayeyes, from Idaho to the Caribbean? Wow, what a change! :)
I presume the wolves in this film are a lot bigger than those in your property, and also more ferocious.
The movie is more than wolves attacking people though... it has depth and emotional impact.

Great, glad you reconsider. :)

Nebular said...

Kaijinu, it ended up being my favorite film of 2012 so far, right after the rage-y "Chronicle".

Nebular said...

Mel, I disagree with you about that it should have been made with women. Most women wouldn't survive the level of harshness, nor they could defend from the horrifying wolves. Well, unless they're all 'clonings' of Gina Carano. The film just wouldn't be as believable.

Thanks, glad you ended up engaged by my review. :)

I hope everything's fine with you, despite all the craziness. :) Hugs!

Nebular said...

Russell, thanks for the kind words, buddy. I really appreciate it.

I didn't expect it to be that substantial either, but oh boy, was it exciting?!

I was thinking about it long after the credits roll, just like you and your friend did.

Thanks again! Glad you enjoyed both the film and my review. :)

Maynard Morrissey said...

sooooo fuckin' excited about it. If it's Neeson I watch it! :)

Melissa Bradley said...

Things are nuts, but I'm getting a handle.

I have to disagree with you about most women not being able to survive this type of situation, hon. Women around the world face savage situations every day and survive. Society chooses not to laud women for that ability because in its backward vision, it prefers to see women as mothers, sisters, comforters. One of my dearest friends, Kathy, is an expert hunter and tracker. And one of her friends, Dee, is a smoke jumper who fights forest fires.

I think this movie would have been more profound and different had it showcased women who can handle themselves in these situations. I'm afraid I sound like I'm taking away from Neeson and crew, and I guess maybe I am, but I don't intend to. It's just that Hollywood always elects to go cliche, presenting universal themes from the male perspective. I just feel like women can survive more than childbirth and bad relationships and Hollywood should respect that.

I think you would be intrigued by watching women fight for survival. You are an open-minded and egalitarian man. It's one of the things I love most about you. :)

Nebular said...

Maynard, I think you're gonna like it a lot, and not just because of Neeson. ;)

Nebular said...

Mel, I see your point, but I still do not fully agree with you. Most women are chickens and they will panic as soon they realize they're in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees, snow and WOLVES. With all my respect, I just don't think they will be able to survive. Women often try to prove themselves as tough and fearless, but the truth is... that's not true. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

I think the last good "survival" film I saw was "The Edge" with Anthony Hopkins. Nice to know there's another one in the mix. Heard the cast ate wolf meat to get in character.

Nebular said...

Maurice, in my opinion, this one was far better than The Edge and way more intense. You should check it out. :)

UK said...

The Grey is one of the greatest survival movies I have ever seen, The plane crash seen alone is worth huge props. It is right up there with "Alive", and "The Edge". It starts out a little slow. But once the plane crashes its a chess match between man and beast. And oh yeah, dont forget mother nature, These guys are extremely outmatched, they have no food, no weapons, they are being hunted by a pack of wolves. And to top it all off, they are in the middle of the Alaskin wilderness, with no civilization in sight.It is a treat to watch Liam Neeson in my opinion, one of his greatest performances to date. Just an all around epic movie, If you like outdoorsie flicks, survial stuff etc. you will love The Grey. I give it two huge thumbs up, one last thing, the score for this movie is perfect, subtle tones , nothing overbearing like loud drums, just perfect, especially at the ending, the music was perfect for the mood.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

UK, thanks for the lovely and thoughtful comment, and just for the record, I agree 100% with you on this one. :)

Jordan said...

For me, this was the year's biggest surprise. I wasn't expecting much but came out completely blown away.

Ridiculously intense (it was only after the plane crash sequence that I realized I was gripping my seat as if I was in the plane) and touchingly deep.

"Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I'll ever know
Live and die on this day
Live and die on this day."

Simply fantastic.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Jordan, I couldn't agree more with you on this one. I was pleasantly surprised myself, and I was on the edge of my seat pretty much the entire time. It had depth, stunning bleak visuals, and gripping characters. I was impressed!