The Grey, starring Liam Neeson, is one of these movies you wonder why they both to do when there are so many other stories out there.  It’s not that it’s a particularly bad movie.  It has several good salient points about it.  The cinematography is nice, the effects are pretty good, there are many tense moments and I did like the ending.

The first problem is the trailer, it pretty much gives away much of the movie if you’ve seen it.  Plane crashes in a wilderness, guys gotta survive, yadda, yadda, yadda.  As the script progresses, it throws out some proposals for a better movie.

Neeson is some kind of security expert for an oil refinery.  He shoots wolves and keeps the workers safe.  Assuming this is even a real job, the first scene when it happens is pretty unbelievable.  The wolf comes charging out at some workers, Neeson shoots and the wolf drops dead with no reaction from the workers.  At the very least I expected a, “Jesus Christ!  What the fuck was that?!  A wolf?!  Holy shit!  Thanks Liam Neeson!  You were awesome in Taken!”

So the plan crashes, a handful of characters survive and they start to make plans.  I immediately notice that the plane has crashed in Alaska, the plane is full of Alaskan oil workers and Neeson is the only one with a gun.  Seems to me that there would be quite a few guns on that plane.  Definitely there should be knives.  I mean, these characters are outdoorsy guys, how could only ONE of them have a decent knife?  And cellphones?  Satellite phones?  No one ever seems to score a working phone in one of these movies.  One guy has a GPS watch, which is apparently useless.

Neeson character also immediately disarms the most logical move: Hide inside the plane so the wolves can’t eat you.  He dismisses this idea by saying the rescue planes will never a giant flaming plane in the middle of a snow field.  Also, they will starve because there’s no food.  Still, there’s always some food on a plane.  They find the booze and the booze cart usually has some food.  Then, of course, there’s the option of cannibalism.  Later, when they do manage to kill a wolf they eat it so, why couldn’t they have just done THAT at the plane.

Next, after the plane goes down and the survival part beings, Neeson suggests that the survivors take on the wolf pack and whittle down the numbers.  Then that never happens.   Did the screenwriter get bored with that?  Rookie mistake.  You don’t introduce a concept like that and let it clatter to the floor.  I mean it’s forgotten almost immediately.

Neeson’s character seems to know just enough about wolves to take charge of the group, but not enough to do them any good.  There are other “survival” moments that don’t seem that smart and the ending especially reveals Neeson as either really unlucky or a guy that had no fucking idea how to survive.  I mean, I know stuff just from watching Survivor Man.

The rest of the story elements seem to be just window dressing.  There are a few touching scenes and characters that are important die, so I have to respect the movie makers for doing that.  Overall, when you look back, it’s one of those movies that just doesn’t hold together.  Neeson is his usual intense self and his acting is top notch, but he can’t lift the whole movie himself.

At best, I say this is a rental.  I give The Grey 3 keggers out of 10.