The Grey

The Grey (AKA Wolf Punch): a suicidal wolf-sniper must lead a group of plane crash survivors back to safety when they ditch near a wolf den in Alaska. The biggest shock to me was Neeson‘s star appeal; it was the busiest screening I’ve seen in a long time – and the poster for this is just a close-up of his coupon. While there’s no other A-list actors, they’ve all been around the block and are a solid bunch of hands. The film has surprisingly artistic sensibilities; in particular the opening character building with voiceover, and overall focus / investment on the group, their dynamics, (& latterly the scenery) – instead of fighting wolves every 20 seconds.  The plane crash is overwhelming, there’s couple of solid jumps, the CGI wolves look great, the gore is pretty visual, and overall the continuous threat of attack keeps you guessing. The only real downside is that there’s not a whole lot of wolf-punching to be had, and when it happens the frenetic action cam makes a mess of it all. As for the final scene, I still can’t tell if it is the bravest, dumbest, or most disappointing in memory – definitely a bold move. Neeson gets his token action line ‘let’s sharpen a big stick and ram it up this wolf’s ass’…  as well a several emotional runs through the poem below, oh, and Taglet looks identical to Half Life’s Dr Freeman. The Grey isn’t the action-packed wolf-punching cheese-fest that you walk in expecting; instead it’s a tense, character driven well-made survival thriller; this will be a nice surprise to some, but a disappointment to others.

Score: 7/10

Once more into the fray.
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know.
Live or die on this day.
Live or die on this day.

  1. Andrew said:

    The audience I saw this with hated the ending.

    Meanwhile, I loved it. It’s thematically appropriate, and I’m really glad Joe Carnahan had the chutzpah to avoid another terrible Legends of the Fall climax. Given that when we meet him he’s a purposeless wreck of a man intent on taking his own life, I’d say that Ottway “wins” just by virtue of making the decision to fight for his life after he previously was so ready to throw it away.

    Neeson’s amazing here. I don’t think there’s any question how much inspiration he took from Natasha Richardson’s death three years back; he’s raw and open here, turning out a great and emotional performance.


    • Paragraph Film Reviews said:

      There was definitely an air of disappointment when this went to black at the end – big debates in UK film shows about the trailer misleading people into the mindset of ‘Taken with Wolves’ / ‘Wolf Punch’ etc.


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