A movie that features lots of cold air blowing and men struggling to survive might not sound like a middle age woman’s dream movie, but The Grey knocked that in half. It’s not amazing and wonderful and life changing, but that’s kind of a high standard to live up to. It IS exciting, stimulating, full of tension, testosterone, and yes, lots of snow. I like this movie a lot. It has a visceral element that is hard to explain. I was THERE in that cold freezing snow, wind whipping through my bones, wolves on the hunt to eat me for supper.
I got more out of it than just man vs. nature, trying to survive a frozen disaster. I found an underlying layer of what’s at the core of men. They are full of shit, raised in most cultures to be pushy and self absorbed on the surface. On the inside, at the heart of them they are nothing more than what they should be, people who care about things, people, and more than screwing anything that walks. It’s complicated, I’m sure, to be a man, but come on! The men in the movie depict the exact truth, a bunch of rowdy wasters, goofy and shallow…..and wham, they are faced with a very dark reality. Stranded, frozen, mostly dead, injured, unable to fend for themselves. This is when we see the alpha dog thing, paralleled to the pack of wolves hunting them down.
I really enjoyed most of the characters, for what they were. Our leading man is a stoic hunter who has secrets, pain, struggles inside that we only get a glimpse of now and then but we understand….he’s complicated. The dudes around him are stereotypical men, a reliable hard worker, a mouthy fighter, a fearful weaker type, a worrier, etc. But I liked the movie so much this character monotony didn’t bother me.
What did bother me? The super crappy CGI wolves. Ugh. I won’t elaborate, but trust me , this will distract you like it did me. My advice is to overlook it and stay hooked into the journey. I could have got hung up on the very unappealing robotic animals, the ropy CGI and the awkward way they worked them onto the screen most of the time. Strange to say that the worse part of the movie is the main theme, main “character”, and it doesn’t ruin the whole thing. It’s just how it worked out for me.
For possibly the most unsettling plane crash sequence ever, excitement and great sound and some heart pounding moments along with manly revelations about life and death and not being an empty shell of a human being, The Grey does the trick:)
- Deleted Scenes – Six deleted scenes that clock in at about 22 minutes, some of them do not match the tone of the movie at all but are fun anyway.
- Feature Commentary With Joe Carnahan – Director commentary that surprisingly goes into detail on the making of the film. Fancy that!!
- DVD & Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: /10
I didn’t like the cover until I saw the movie. Even then it is a bit boring, but it makes total sense. I wouldn’t have this as a poster. The menu is just your standard navigation with live action.
Audio & Video: 8/10
You like film grain? The Grey is the grainiest film I have seen in the past few years. This is not a bad thing though, it is one of those times that it simply adds to the movie. Director Joe Carnahan and DP Masanobu Takayanagi used actual film (Who says film is dead?) to give this movie a distinct handheld look that really sets it apart from other survival based films.
The DTS-HD master audio soundtrack used here is perfect, yes perfect!!! If you ever wanted to experience what it would be like being lost in a snowy windy wasteland, sit yourself down and give this Blu-Ray a spin (make sure you have a good surround sound system). The standout here are the wind effects which whip from left to right. During the plane crash sequence I saw my wife noticeably jump in her chair so you know the subwoofer was doing it’s job. If your looking for a surround sound showcase The Grey is it!!!!
I enjoyed it a lot, but it’s purely a rental for me. If you can find it in a few months for 5-10 bucks in a bargain bin, go for it. If you can rent it online for a few dollars and have a night in with a stay-at-home date, popcorn, and a discussion afterwards about the movie, this will be excellent value for the cash.
Overall Score 7/10