I waited a few weeks to watch this movie because I was on the fence about whether it would be good or not. I really like Liam Neeson because he plays a hardened bad ass so well, but I always joke that every suspenseful thriller movie he's in is just a different take on "Taken". While "The Grey" was entertaining, I would explain it to friends as "Taken" in Alaska with Liam Neeson as the kidnapped person, nature as the kidnapper and giant wolves as the hunter.
"The Grey" was based on a short story, and with it clocking in at almost two hours, felt like it was 30 minutes too long. There are long, drawn out scenes where the characters, who are stranded in the wild during winter due to an airplane crash, try to gain your empathy via some pseudo bro-bonding time. When the action does come, it comes hard and fast using horror movie tactics with loud sounds and giant wolves attacking from off-screen.
My only real problem was with the giant wolves who had a particular set of skills; skills that they acquired over a very long career. Skills that make them a nightmare for the stranded guys. The wolves pursued the guys relentlessly for no particular reason except to give this movie a living antagonist. I would have much rather seen Liam and co. just battle the elements and bad fortune instead of having a Michael Meyers-esque character that shows up mysteriously wherever the guys are.
Was "The Grey" worth $5? Yes. Although flawed, it was still an entertaining movie and it's always exciting to watch Liam Neeson kick ass and take names later. There's also something about his voice that I find oddly soothing.
Watch it on the big screen or rent? I think this movie is better as a renter. You're not missing much by not watching it on a large format screen and you can pause the movie for restroom breaks when it begins to drag a bit.
Check back next week for another installment of $5 Tuesdays!
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