From trailers I knew this would be a tough movie to watch. It seemed too grisly for me, too tough. But I was drawn in, and it kept me captivated.
John Ottway (Liam Neeson) is in a crew of oil rig roughnecks. He is a marksman. His job is to shoot wolves to protect his fellow workers. What a job.
The working conditions in arctic Alaska are horrible. Hordes of men have no outlet after work hours but drink and whores. They work hard in terribly cold weather, and look forward to some time off in a better place.
They board a small jet. I remember wondering, in the winter in Chicago O’Hare, why they spend so much time de-icing the planes. Now I know. Please, please, de-ice as long as you want. After terrible turbulence in inclement weather, the plane crashes in the Alaska wilderness. Most passengers and the crew die. Only seven men survive. They have no idea where they are. They know the plane is a tiny spot in a vast icy wilderness, and the wreckage is quickly covered with snow. Rescue is not likely.
There are wolves, ravenous beasts, honed by millions of years of evolution to survive in arctic weather by hunting in packs, picking off the weakest of their prey, one by one. The wounded men in the wreckage of their plane do not seem to have a chance.
They start to walk in desperate hope to find a way out.
Watching The Grey had me shiver in my chair. The cold and desolation of the Alaska wilderness was with me, and the wolves were right there.
In the end the film left me exhausted.