If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Hi guys. I'm an old Spill vet dusting off my long unused membership just to rag on this movie. Why? Because everyone else seems to think it's fucking fantastic and I can't for the life of me figure out why.
What I thought I was in for: A tense, slow, survival horror with good bones but a high possibility of badly animated wolves that act nothing like real animals.
What I got: A rediculous shit show where the crappy fantasy carnivores end up being the least improbably and factually inaccurate part of the movie.
I'll start this by saying that the man I've lived with for the past 5-6 years actually worked as an rigger laying gas pipe in Northern Canada and Alaska. While I don't expect everyone to have the level of understanding that he does regarding the job, whoever wrote this either did no research or they completely ignored it for their own vision of how these characters should act. I guess the easiest way to do this will be a point by point. Loads of spoilers.
1. Liam Neeson walks into a factory building which for some reason is also a camp. Camps and factory buildings are separate for saftely reasons, and niether have bars. Camps are dry. You work for several weeks (sometimes months) at a time, then get time off where you have the option of going to a town where they have bars.
2. Riggers are not convicts and lowlifes. The gas and oil companies do very strict screening on who they allow into their worksites. They do background tests and regular tox screens.
3. None of these people have propper gear. If you are working in minus 50 conditions, you are not wearing fannel jackets and wool mittens from Sears. In fact, they are required to have special Nomex workwear made for those temperatures. Even if they weren't wearing their gear on the plane, I guarantee that would be the first thing they'd be digging out of the wreckage. As it was, they would have been dead of exposure within a few hours of walking.
4. They would not have left the wreckage. They have a sheltered structure with a black box that contains a locator beacon. Planes generally contain medical kits, some food, a survival tent, and various other bits that are invaluable in a crash situation. The metal scraps can be fitted into tools an weapons and even a slapshod furnace to keep the place warm. The excuse they used to shuffle on was food, but I don't see how wandering off into the woods with no real weapons is better than staying huddled in a plane where the food is actually walking up to you and staring you in the face with magic glowing eyes.
5. No one but Liam Neeson seemed to know anything about wildlife despite living and working in wild conditions. One person asked if the giant monster wolf was a coyote and another asked if wolves were herbavores. While the threat of bears is much more common to riggers, I can't imagine that any of them don't know what a wolf is. Also, as farmlad doesn't exist up there and it's extremely expensive to fly in produce, most people that live and work up north are hunters.
6. They don't bring in special people to snipe wildlife on worksites. They work in crews and there is always one person with a shotgun.
7. Neeson had a sniper rifle and shotgun shells.
8. Shotgun shells require a very specific hammer point applied at high velocity to discharge. I would be amazed and in awe to see someone cause one to go off with a stick.
9. After leaving the giant visible shelter full of supplies in their blue jeans, They manage to kill a wolf via absurd bullet spear. They roast it without cutting it's head off (mmm singed hair flavored meat) despite the fact that head and paws are the first thing to go before you skin an animal. This is also after one guy frantically stabs at the carcass which runs the high risk of puncturing an organ and contaminating the meat with bile.
10. Our heros have a full roast beast, a central cooking fire, and several small parimeter fires. They leave all this in the middle of the night, walk for 20 minutes, and sleep in a snowbank. Someone dies. The wolves didn't even get him. He just died from poor planning.
11. Upon hearing the sound of a river, the group decides they need water. Nevermind that they've been pretty good at making fire thus far and they're surrounded by snow and you'd think they'd have figured the math on that one already. No. Instead, they tie a rope made out of what appear to be curtains around a guy and have him run off the edge of a cliff. Instead of going five feet and dropping like a stone, he manages to clear an 80 foot gap and land in a tree. There's maybe a 20 degree slant to the "bridge."
12. After all that crap, the bitchiest person in the group sits down at the mellowest part of the journey and decides he's done. No one slaps him in the face. No one takes his bag. No one takes a drink from the water they were desparate enough to jump off a cliff for a few minutes earlier.
13. Neeson falls in the river and climbs back out. He seems fine. His body is not siezing. He's not having trouble breathing. He doesn't die of hypothermia within minutes. Whoever wrote this has never been wet in cold weather. In this situation, you're actually better off tearing your clothes away and being naked to the elements than wearing sopping wet duds that will freeze within minutes and kill you. Clothes do not dry in that weather. He could have walked around for days in those clothes and they'd still be an ice suit.
This script was written by a city rat that's never so much as been camping. This is like me trying to write a historic time piece on fudal Japan and doing all my research in manga styled Marvel comics . It's not exciting. It's not smart. The pacing isn't tense so much as it is plodding. Making all of the other characters stop to cry whenever some dimwit gets dragged off doesn't make this emotionally engaging. This is by far the worst survival movie I can recall seeing. Even B movie slasher fodder usually have more logic behind their actions and their physical abilities.
I'm with Quiznos, I know a lot of people who work in the oil industry and there are a lot of shady dudes in that number, lots of coke and pill heads and lots of violent macho dickheads. Good cunts also but a load of small minded fuckwit lowlifes for sure.
Well, to each their own.
You bring up decent points, but I still really liked the movie. It sounds like you didn't want to like this movie. Some of the stuff like Liam Neeson falling in cold water I agree with you but the other stuff is just nitpicks.
BTW if you liked the new James Bond movie Skyfall then you should be ashamed of yourself for even trying to nitpick The Grey.
Of course, if anyone doesn't like this movie it's because they don't want to like it.
It has nothing to do with how incredibly poorly written it is. Not at all.
... Who said anything about liking Skyfall? What a horrendous non-sequitur.
I liked Grey, and I can understand why somebody wouldn't.
As for the director, I think it was a nice addon to his movie making repertoire. Big fan of the guy.
I'm going to go "on a limb" here and suggest because of the radically foreign nature of being a rigger in alaka, as compared to virtually any other job in america, the movie took liberties in non
I apparently dont know enough about living in cold environments (yay Texas), so I didnt have these facts to piss me off.
Did I think this was a realistic movie? No they're running from the wolves from 300.
What I thought this movie excelled at was showing different realistic depictions at how people face death. I found the movie to connect with me on an emotional level. So much like anything based in a fantasy realm I ignored all the flaws that could take me out of the movie and went with how I felt.
If a movie can get me to feel something emotionally then I'm usually on board. Liam Neeson is quite excellent here and having the previous knowledge of his wife dying in real life made this performance that much more powerful.
While I respect all points your bring up here. I just connected with the movie in a much different way. Sorry you got sucked out of it.
Didn't realise every film had to be factually accurate. Cough Pearl Harbour. Since I only saw The Grey as a horror film anyhow, wasn't really expecting to learn anything NEW. It's Only A Movie folks. Watch a documentary if you want the other thing imo.
Regardless whether I use PH or ANY movie as an example, none accurately reflect "reality". (no, not even Bill Douglas' work), this is all I'm saying.