Review: The Grey

Liam Neeson in The Grey.

Dances With The Wolves

Rating: *

Joe Carnahan’s The Grey is a mix of J.J. Abrams Lost and the “survival of the fittest” theory. A group of oil drillers are stranded in Alaska after a plane crash and they have to survive a nasty blizzard, hunger, frostbite and a pack of grey wolves. This film is based on the novel Ghost Walker by Ian MacKenzie Jeffers.

The Grey stars your action movie “go-to” guy. No, we’re not talking about Bruce Willis or Nicholas Cage, we’re talking about Liam Neeson. Taken may have suited his badass hero avatar but films such as Unknown, The A-Team and Clash of The Titans don’t enhance his reputation. These films needed protagonists who are more agile, more invulnerable. Neeson doesn’t deliver in the cited examples and neither does he in The Grey.

Carnahan adds more character to the wolves and not to the humans. We saw a similar occurrence in John Carpenter’s sci-fi horror classic, The Thing. But, that was where it all began – the eighties. Carnahan deviously lets his actors deliver metallic emotions, ensuring that the focus goes to the wolves. Sadly, the carnivores don’t bring much to the table. What more can you expect from prop animals?

Carnahan highlighted in a press conference that The Grey is about a man’s interior struggle for survival and brought in Christian messages to support him. Upon watching the film, I doubt that.


Review: The A-Team

Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Liam Neeson and Quinton Jackson in The A-Team

CGI infused whodunit wannabe

The A-Team (PG-13)

Director: Joe Carnahan

Starring: Liam Neeson, Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel and Patrick Wilson

Genre: CGI-dependent Action

Rating: *

In one of the unimaginable action scenes, The A-Team escapes from a burning plane in a tank. The leader, Hannibal Smith (Liam Neeson) commands his men to rotate the canon forty-five degrees and fire. This pushes the falling tank to the right which then falls into a lake, saving the four mercenaries aboard. I wondered how this stunt could have been created. But, the pre-title sequence became the horror of horrors. A rickety medical chopper does a flip and if that didn’t turn me off, it was the CGI overdose in the final action scene which did.

The A-Team has quite an outdated storyline, probably because it is based on a 1980s TV series and also the fact that there’s a less commercial movie with the same storyline, running in theatres. But, The A-Team is all glitz when compared to The Losers. Tell me if you knew any of the actors other than Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Zoe Saldana. The A-Team is led by four well-known actors. Led by Liam Neeson, you have mixed martial artist Quinton Jackson, District 9’s Sharlto Copley and the charming dude from The Hangover, Bradley Cooper. Along with them, there’s Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel. Now, that’s a well-recognized cast. And, according to the rules of Hollywood blockbusters, a well-recognized cast can alone rake half of the budget. So add some cheesy humor pepped up with CGI devised action scenes to rake the other half and the privileges.

What irritated me the most was the hands-on experience which featured queasy-camera presentation. The cinematography was a real eyesore. If only this movie had been a 3D presentation, I’d be searching for an eye donor. Mauro Fiore presents such horrendous work with the camera.

The A-Team nevertheless entertains and no matter the goof-ups, your main preference is entertainment and The A-Team is a wise choice.