The Grey ***

February 19, 2012 by James Berardinelli - Reelviews
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Some would argue that the best way to see Alaska is through the images captured by an expert photographer. As breathtaking as the views may be, the climate can be unforgiving, with weather, terrain, and fauna that might give even notable survival expert Bear Gryllis pause. InThe Grey, director Joe Carnahan’s man vs. nature epic, the filmmaker strands seven characters in the midst of some of the most inhospitable territory on earth and shows that, when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles to survival, human beings have a tendency to look inward. The Grey is about raging against the dying of the light but also about accepting it with peace once the fight has been lost.

January and February, while not considered a prime market for motion pictures, have been good to Liam Neeson. Clad in the mantle of The Everyday Action Hero, Neeson has capitalized on his stolid reputation and a weak release schedule to burn up the box office withTaken (in January 2008) and Unknown (in February 2011). That is likely the reason Open Road Films elected to distribute The Grey to theaters in the dead of winter, and to open it in multiplexes when one could easily argue it is art house fare.

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