Director Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, Smokin’ Aces) showcases his usual action-oriented sensibilities by way of a Jack London novel in the Liam Neeson vehicle The Grey. Ottway (Neeson) is employed as a sharp shooter at a remote oil drilling site in Alaska. His job is to keep an eye out for wolves while harboring suicidal thoughts brought on by a lost love. Ottway ends up in a plane crash alongside his roughneck co-workers, “men unfit for mankind” that include an unrecognizable Dermot Mulroney. The seven survivors bravely march off into the bleak, wolf-infested wasteland of our 49th state where they run from predators, jump off cliffs, and engage in bonding sessions around the campfire, topics of which include children, hookers, and 1993’s Alive (the one that starred “the dude from Training Day“). Despite Ottway’s expertise on all matters wolfen (“It’s not the alpha, it’s the omega!”), their numbers eventually dwindle to the point where it’s just a Wolverine-like Liam Neeson squaring off against a giant wolf that represents the beast that is himself. Great fun that shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Dress warm.
The Grey opens today in Philly-area theaters.