Directed by Joe Carnihan
Starring Liam Neesan
How did Liam Nessan become such a bad ass? Well you know he just plays that role really well. He’s done other tough guy roles before but it seems like the film Taken sort of reinvigorated that type of character for him. After doing Taken he also took on the lead role in the big screen redo of the A-Team, a slightly comedic role but still an action hero. So, fans obviously thought that Joe Carhihan’s The Grey would be another of those roles.
Well, let’s start by saying those fans just didn’t pay any attention to the commercials because if they had just looked up from their Fruit Loops they would have seen an ad for a very different film. Nessan plays a sharp shooter who was hired to kill off wolves that get too close to the oil refinery’s he is paid to protect. He’s a depressed guy, a guy who just doesn’t care about much, even himself. He works with what he humorously calls a bunch of “assholes” referring to himself as one as well. He’s forced to take charge and go beyond the call of duty to protect the survivors of a plane crash. They had to fight the cold, the hunger, and the wolves.
We get only snippets of each character’s past so we don’t know exactly why Nessan’s character is such a bad ass and it’s not really important because he sells the character. None of the characters get extensive backstory here. The lack of character development is usually a minus but that “grey” area is part of the selling point of the movie. It works fantastically for most of the film and even when it doesn’t the film still works overall. In case you can’t tell, and this really isn’t a spoiler, The Grey is a sad film. Often the sadness is predictable when it comes but Nessan and the supporting cast is strong enough actors to sell it and truly create impact.
The fact that these assholes are at the core of what makes our country continue to work, and no one cares about them adds such a thick layer of melancholy to the film that the other sad aspects added on make the film nearly unbearable at points. The scant moments of humor are truly required to break the mold. There is action and suspense and it’s all well executed and extremely gritty. There are no guns here so we’re talking fists and makeshift bladed weapons. Flaws aside The Grey is simply a phenomenal and ballsy movie for all involved. I had an extra layer of entertainment value listening to the people that paid no attention to the ads before coming to the film because they were pretty pissed.
If you are looking for Taken 2: Electric Bugaboo then you might as well stay home and watch another Nessan film called Unknown. If instead you are seeking something challenging, moving, and subtle then The Grey is a must see.