After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.After their plane crashes in Alaska, six oil workers are led by a skilled huntsman to survival, but a pack of merciless wolves haunts their every step.
Survival tale goes against the grain
I'm surprised to see the number of negative reviews here and also surprised as to the number of comparisons to Lee Tamahori's 'The Edge'; a completely different type of film in my opinion despite the similar locales. Unrelentingly bleak with almost no glimpse of warmth ( both literally and figuratively!) during the whole running time it's easy to see that this film will not be for everyone. The absence of a heroic ending and the depiction of the absolute fragility of man (and futility of machismo) will also serve to divide audiences even further. But, if you can get past these things and can overlook a couple of plot points that might seem illogical you are in for one heck of visceral cinematic ride. The story is simple - Liam Neeson is a distraught widower contracted to shoot Wolves in the Alaskan oil fields. On a flight to the mainland for R&R the plane goes down in the middle of nowhere and he and six other passengers are the only remaining survivors. The motley group must contend with a grim situation that see's them dropped in a freezing barren wasteland with no food, shelter or weapons and a pack of hungry Timber Wolves keen to pick them off one by one. I liked the AO Scott review for this film in which he pointed out that the film posed and answered a number of theological and existential questions in a very quiet and dignified way. Quite un-Hollywood. This is no Tom Hanks picture and unlike the aforementioned The Edge it's never for a minute considered an option for the men to make a stand against the Wolves in the way that Charles and Bob did with Bart the Bear in that film. They are completely at the mercy of the environment and it's predators whilst also being aware of the increasing futility of their plight. The film goes against the grain right from the outset and it's a stylistic decision from the creators that simultaneously elevates it above many of it's counterparts but also probably limits it's broader appeal - an early scene immediately after the crash where Neeson comforts a dying man is one of the most powerful and beautiful pieces of acting I've seen in recent years. To summarize, I found the film a very intense watch and it stayed with me for long time afterwards. Surely the hallmarks of a great picture?
- Mar 4, 2012
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