Neeson takes modern-day John Wayne act into frozen wastes Discuss this article
Liam Neeson’s shift into marquee action-man territory has at best resulted in fun junk like Taken, at worst in Eurotrash drivel like Unknown. With The Grey, he’s broken the slump: the film was developed for Bradley Cooper, but it’s hard to imagine his pretty face at the centre of this terse, solid survival thriller.
Neeson is Ottway, a hard-bitten hunter stranded at an oil outpost. When his plane back to civilisation crashes in the frozen wastes, Ottway must lead a ragtag band of survivors to safety. But surviving blizzards and scaling ravines is one thing, dealing with timber wolves quite another.
After the excesses of The A-Team, this is Carnahan stripping it back to basics. The action sequences thrill, the shocks are effective and the film has a streamlined, Hawksian narrative drive which carries it through the rough spots. Best of all, though, is Big Liam: sharp, surly and mean, he’s as close as we’ll get to a modern John Wayne. Who saw that coming?By Tom Huddleston
Time Out Abu Dhabi,