2012 Movie #38 - The Grey (2012)
I’ve liked most of Joe Carnahan's prior work, but THE GREY is by far my favorite of his films. The marketing is a bit misleading. This isn't really a movie about Liam Neeson punching wolves in the face. It's a brutal atheist existential survival story in which Liam Neeson punches wolves in the face.
The filmmaking is excellent throughout, and my one minor quibble is that the film does have a tendency to structurally separate its narrative moments from its character moments. Rather than naturally interweaving character and theme into scenes that continue to propel the narrative, I think the film occasionally allows too much slack in the narrative tension to allow for character building moments. My favorite films tend to find a way to do all of these things at the same time. That said, it’s really a minor quibble, and I would highly recommend seeing THE GREY.
What I’ll Take Away: Dermot Mulroney is becoming more and more interesting as he gets older. I could see a major comeback for him in the near future. But with regards to the filmmaking, I’m really impressed by Carnahan’s ability to juggle naturalistic and iconic camera choices within the same scene.