Liam Neeson toes the thin line between death and survival in his new film The Grey
The Grey (15)
Verdict: Has bite
The big disappointment is that, despite the title, The Grey is not The John Major Story.
Instead, it’s a tale of a morose, suicidal alpha male (Liam Neeson) leading a totally masculine band of survivors from an air crash, as they try to survive in wolf-infested Alaska.
Director Joe Carnahan does a classier job here than on the effects extravaganza The A Team, and at its best it’s a gripping action movie about the thin line between death and survival, reminiscent of Walter Hill’s Southern Comfort.
Great middle-aged tough guy: But Liam Neeson is let down by the screenplay in The Grey
Leading men don’t come huskier than Neeson, and there’s no one better at playing a middle-aged tough-guy.
It’s too bad the screenplay doesn’t give him a more winning character. He’s dour, morose and introspective.
Nor are there any fascinating characters in supporting roles, and the film slows to a halt whenever there’s an attempt to drum up human interest.
My other complaint would be that the numerous wolf attacks suffer from being shot so close and edited so frantically: there’s nothing much to see except fur and jaws.
For all that, Neeson is compelling, and this is a solidly crafted action movie. There’s much to admire here, if little to love.