Last night, my father, younger brother, and I went to see the new Liam Neeson movie “The Grey“. From various television commercials and a few scattered tweets, I heard this movie was pretty good. It didn’t hurt that I just finished a re-watch of the epic “Taken” the weekend before and was on a bit of a Liam Neeson high. I must say that the movie more than lived up to my expectations.
What I Liked:
- The lack of cliches. Although at times mildly predictable, most of the twists were wholly unexpected. The jumps were genuine and terrifying, just the way I like it. Also, the black guy doesn’t die first! Way to break the mold
- Fully formed characters. Obviously Neeson’s character Ottway was going to be developed but I was pleasantly surprised by how attached I got to the secondary characters as well. The story does a nice job of giving the viewers at least a little back story on each of the survivors.
- The plane crash. Holy S***. That is all I got to say.
- The wolves. They were scary, like really scary. The CGI was subtle and well done. The full wolves are seen only briefly, but the director does a great job of using small aspects about the them (i.e. their breath, their eyes, their howl) to keep the tension high.
- The unrelenting pace. For me, the movie’s pacing is awesome. It bounces perfectly from action to tension and back again. There was a specific scene that got my heart rate up so high I could barely watch. With the exception of an important sequence towards to end which really takes its time (and rightfully so) this movie never really gives the audience a chance to breathe (an accomplishment by the way).
- The ending. It will inevitably have its fans and haters but I definitely fall into the former category. I loved it. It made sense for the movie and it was kind of profound. Neeson pulls it off brilliantly and the cut to black actually had me applauding. It took *ahem* balls to end it the way they did so props to them.
What I Didn’t Like:
- The very beginning. It was a little weird and, to be honest, overwrought. It felt like it was trying too hard to be cool and edgy. It also doesn’t really fit with the rest of the movie.
- That one repeating flashback. By the 10th time I think I got the picture…
Overall Rating: 8.5/10