53) The Grey (2012) Dir: Joe Carnahan Date Released: January 27, 2012 Date Seen: February 6, 2012 Rating: 2.75/5
Meh, the hype surrounding this is nice 'n all but it's a little much given what Carnahan actually delivers. Being this self-serious is not Carnahan's strong suit, a point that is made abundantly clear in the scene where one of the virtually anonymous survivors just gives up. The speech this guy gives is a bit much but it's not necessarily impossible to take seriously. Still, it just doesn't work as Carnahan directed it. So a moment of intense existential panic winds up looking goofy and overwrought, as does the film's opening scene and all the moments where Liam Neeson fantasizes about being with his wife.
There are only a couple of moments where I felt that Carnahan actually made his macho morality play work and that was mostly the ones with wolves in them. Though I did really like the scene where the men climb across a ravine on...a tighrope? What does one call that? In any case, they climb across and of course one of them falls to his death. But again, here' where Carnahan tips his hand: this guy can't just fall to his death--he's got to be eaten by wolves, too! Ugh. Carnahan really hasn't grown much as a filmmaker. My favorite film of his is still Smokin' Aces. Because at least then he let us have a little fun while reveling in moribund stupidity.