Mobster and hit man Jimmy Conlon has one night to figure out where his loyalties lie: with his estranged son, Mike, whose life is in danger, or his longtime best friend, mob boss Shawn Maguire, who wants Mike to pay for the death of his own son.
In Alaska, a team of oil workers board a flight home; however, they cross a storm and the airplane crashes. Only seven workers survive in the wilderness and John Ottway, who is a huntsman that kills wolves to protect the workers, assumes leadership of the group. Shortly after they learn that they are surrounded by a pack of wolves and Ottway advises that they should seek protection in the woods. But while they walk through the heavy snow, they are chased and attacked by the carnivorous mammals.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In the last moments of the firewood-search scene, Diaz holds up a book and makes a quip about it being a bestseller. This line of dialogue was added to the film in post-production. See more »
The opening scene has Ottway drinking in a bar. There are no bars on the North Slope Oil Fields, and no alcohol or weapons are allowed on the North Slope oil fields of Alaska. Workers caught with alcohol or weapons are terminated and permanently barred from employment on the "Slope". For safety and security reasons, all employees on the North Slope are closely monitored for behavior problems, even in transit to and from work. See more »
A job at the end of the world. A salaried killer for a big petroleum company. I don't know why I did half the things I've done, but I know this is where I belong, surrounded by my own. Ex-cons, fugitives, drifters, assholes. Men unfit for mankind.
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Fantastic Man-versus-Nature Film Will Have You On The Edge Of Your Seat
A lot of people will complain about this film not having enough action or being too introspective or whatever other reason they can think of not to like the film. But the reality is, this is a fantastic movie about survival when there is little to no chance of doing so. In fact, the film speaks about a lot of things. It speaks about man versus nature, about being male, and about the human spirit's need to persist. What this film is not is an action-adventure or one about Liam Neeson punching wolves. No, the trailer really pulled a number on anyone expecting a loud movie about wolf killing.
The film's setup is simple: Neeson's bodyguard-like character to a group of men drilling in Alaska finds himself and several others having survived a plane crash and facing the cold, harsh wilderness in an attempt to get back to civilization. In said wilderness, they are faced with a pack of wolves who have had their space invaded by these men and are out for blood. The cast is mostly fantastic, but obviously Neeson shines in the lead role. He is the kind of hard-edged man we've seen of him recently, but like the rest of the cast, he is vulnerable. The film speaks a great deal about the male ego and what it means to actually be a man. We're told that these men Neeson is protecting are some of the worst kind of men, being criminals and just general a-holes. But when faced with such impending doom, these men show their vulnerabilities. They come across as tough and gruff. Even Neeson plays things cold and disconnected, but over the course of the film we learn about each of the men, see the things they truly care about, and even see them face fear when they would otherwise not admit to being afraid. It's a film that shatters the image of male machismo in a slow, thought provoking way.
Now, I've already mentioned that the film isn't an action-adventure in the way that people might expect, but it is nonetheless heart racing (or stopping, take your pick). Nearly every minute of screen time is taken up by some kind of tension, and this is in part thanks to pure visual and audio goodness. The darkness surrounding the men, the sounds of trees breaking, or wolves howling. It all creates a frightening, edge of your seat atmosphere. And when the attacks come, they come quickly and quietly. It's unsettling and has you bracing for more. It's not just wolf attacks either. Nature is as much a killer of these men as the wolves, and facing the cold and an attempt to escape prove harrowing, and sometimes even fatal. It's a film shot beautifully, but in that beauty is true terror, the kind of which few films these days can create. Sound is as much apart of that terror as it's look, and the two combine fantastically.
The film is also fairly depressing. There is little hope here, and as the men come to face their individual fates, the sense of dread grows greater. This coupled with an ending that many may find disappointing will probably turn other viewers off. I, for one, was not. The movie is still quite fantastic despite it's depressing tone, and even if the ending isn't quite what we'd anticipate, there's enough of a sense of finality in it that it seems justified. In other words, if all you expect is a film that is shallow and about what you see, instead of what you feel and think, then you will most likely be disappointed. But if you're looking for an exciting, edge of your seat, thought provoking film with a lot to say, then The Grey is something you will probably enjoy. It's certainly a heck of a good way to kick off a new year of cinema.
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