Opening 12 Apr 2012
Filmmaker Joe Carnahan directs and co-writes what he calls “a hard-core survivalist film” in The Grey, based on the short story “Ghost Walker” by his co-writer Ian Mackenzie Jeffers. The two bring to the silver screen, in life-like form, the intensity of Jeffers’ perception of the Alaskan wild frontier with a man vs. nature thriller. Carnahan and Jeffers collaborate with executive producers Ridley and Tony Scott, actors Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Callas Roberts, Joe Anderson, James Badge Dale, and Nonso Anozie along with experts in visual effects, cinematography and editing to create a believable journey of destiny. Its Carnahan’s manly epic to question life’s deeper meanings with regard to nature, life and God.
The oil refineries sprawled along the Alaskan frontier employ men from all walks of life living hundreds of miles away from the never-ending winter landscape. The men’s varied jobs see to it that the refinery works at capacity to break down the crude oil into suitable components for commercial use. Their grueling five week 24/7 hour shift is immediately followed by a two-week vacation for the necessary psychological repose to gear up for the next demanding work cycle.
A plane, full of the refinery workers on their way home, flies directly into a horrific snowstorm. The plane crashes on the Alaskan tundra biome leaving eight men as survivors including John Ottway (Neeson), a sharpshooter and one of the refinery’s hired guns to keep wild animals from attacking the oil workers during their shifts. The first night the survivors huddle in the plane wreckage for protection. Though the freezing elements made for an uncomfortable night the men were able to sleep and keep warm due to the sporadic fuel fires from the crash site debris.
During the night, an unprecedented encounter with a wild animal goes unnoticed, killing the night watchman without a fight or a sound. In the morning, the eerie discovery of the incident alarms Ottway. His study of the wild wilderness for his refinery job puts him on edge. He knows all of remaining survivors are in grave danger. The brazen attack means the predator is not fearful of humans and considers them now as its prey. The crash has invaded into something’s territory and the survivors position on the treeless snowy landscape is life threatening.
Ottway leads the men southbound heading toward a distant wooded area to find shelter. Traveling for hours through heavy snow drifts and almost to the shelter of a thick wooded forest; the men narrowly escape an attack from a pack of hungry gray wolves. Ottway is aware that the grey wolf family will wear the men down, not leave them alone, and wonders if they are being led to their den. Ottway teaches the remaining survivors to think like the gray wolf because their lives depend on it but he really wonders if this is pay-back time for the work of protecting his colleagues. Nevertheless he daily quot (Karen Pecota)