Running Time: 117 minutes
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulrooney
Directed By: Joe Carnahan
Rating 7 out of 10
A group of oil workers are stranded in the Alaskan wilderness after their plane suffers technical difficulties. They must work together to survive the harsh elements and a pack of wolves that roam the tundra.
So I had to grow a pretty decent beard to finally feel comfortable enough to write this review. Even now I don’t feel man enough but here we go. Neeson seems to be relegated to some January/February release dates for his movies because he is guaranteed bank even in the slow months. It is strange to see a movie like this being made for ultimately it is a guy’s guy type of movie. It is not trying to cater to all audiences with a PG-13 rating and unnecessary romantic love interests. I am not saying women won’t like this movie it just isn’t its target audience. It is the one of the oldest stories in man versus nature. It is a game of survival of the fittest in a harsh terrain that eats the weak. The film centers on a group of oil workers stranded in the remote Alaskan wilderness after their plane suffers some mechanical difficulties. They are stuck there with little supplies, no radio, and little hope for rescue. At this point I want to say and then the CHUDs came but it is actually giant wolves. The character Ottway played by Neeson is the leader by default as he is the resident expert on wolves. The reason I got into this movie was basically my lack of knowledge about wolves. I know two things about them when they howl and you are in the wilderness it raises ones hackles. Two they can tear you a new one and in this film it proves both points quite well. Everything else you need to know about wolves Ottway tells you and I was okay with that fact. The film showed you how quickly things can go bad when stranded and the weather drops. I liked the fact that quite quickly they all must come together and set aside any differences to try and survive. The little known cast led by Neesom served a better and more believable purpose then putting more accomplished actors in there. I found the dialogue to be pretty believable in most points and the scenery a great backdrop for the struggle. I also liked the fact it was not just a film where the wolves kill at will. It was a struggle with nature and supplies as well making it wholly believable. This is a film where when characters drop off you actually care they are no longer in the film. There are obvious weak points to this film or it would have scored higher on the rating scale. I found the movie to be slow pretty much from start to finish. I also found that the scenes involving the wolves tended to be too frantic to be enjoyed properly. Looking for crisp scenes of violence were never achieved which probably would have made this film great. Director Joe Carnahan gets full marks from me for making a movie going for realism and not just a monetary payoff. Ultimately I liked this film for its raw and gritty nature and I am going to give it a recommendation. Plus any movie where Neeson has to make modified brass knuckles out of airplane liquor bottles can’t be half bad.
T Factor + If you enjoy dramatic action then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T factor – If you are looking for a fast paced action packed movie this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Edge, Alive