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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: Feb 12: The Grey


Feb 12: The Grey

"In Alaska, an oil drilling team struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Hunting the humans are a pack of wolves who see them as intruders."

  If I were to ever find myself crash landed in the Alaskan wilderness with only a handful of other survivors, I'd hope that one of them would be Liam Neeson. The guy is the definition of badass. From his early roles (Rob Roy) to his more current ones (Taken), Liam Neeson shows you that he has what it takes to fight and survive. The Grey is no different. However, this time around, Neeson's manliness is not on display in an epic action movie, but in a beautiful and tragic survival story. Yes, The Grey is not an action movie like many of you would assume from seeing trailers. It is a drama about survival and the will to live, and it packs one hell of an emotional punch. 

Like this, but to your emotions, in Alaska, with beautiful piano music. 

   The Grey is exceptional on so many levels. The cinematography is gorgeous  and really captures the beauty of the north while still reminding us that it's not a safe place. Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts and Dermot Mulroney all deserve praise, as each of their acting is incredible. Their roles are fleshed out with depth, and we learn a lot about each of the characters through their actions and well written dialogue that they share with each other. Neeson is effortlessly believable as the alpha in the "pack" of survivors, and the parallelism between them and the wolves is subtle but smart. 

No, he does not become a werewolf. 

  A couple of scenes that stand out the most to me are the beginning and the end. The plane crash is one of the most realistic scenes I have ever seen and it is quite terrifying. It is filmed in a way I have never seen a crash filmed and, as readers already know by now, I love love love originality. The ending wraps up everything perfectly and does so with a beautiful piano piece by the composer, Marc Streitenfeld, who also deserves praise. I have read that a lot of people are upset with the ambiguity of it but, I could not see it ending any other way. I left the theater knowing The Grey is an amazing film but, it lingers and the realization that it is more than just amazing slowly creeps in, like the cold making it's way to your bone. 

The Good:
great story, great acting, great music, great cinematography 
The Better:
Liam Neeson in what I am calling an Oscar-worthy performance
The Best:
The ending and the utterly instinctual will to live driven by faith, inner strength, or love

Overall: 9.5/10

Best Quote:
Ottway: (reciting a poem) "Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day."

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