UK Release date: 27th January 2012
Watched on DVD Sunday 15th July 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I had heard good things about this film and I was lucky enough to have the DVD lent to me for a viewing. It’s a film of highs and lows and one I would watch again, but maybe not for a while. For me, it didn’t quite live up to the hype (little does these days) but it was still worth a look. Here’s a brief summary then I’ll give you my thoughts.
Ottway is employed by an oil company in Alaska to shoot the wolves that come prowling around their drilling facility. He is a man on the edge, haunted by memories of his wife, almost at the point of suicide. When returning to Anchorage on a plane with a group of other workers, he is thrown into a fight for his life when it crashes leaving the survivors in the wilderness. He manages to gather those that remain together but then discovers that there are wolves in the area… and they’re hungry. The few that survived, Diaz, Taglet, Hendrick, Flannery, Burke and Lewenden, together with Ottway, make a bit for a tree-line they can see in the distance. If they make it there they know it’s now a battle for survival, not only against the wolves but also the elements and their own fears. I will leave it there or the Spoiler Police (Alaska Division) will have me clearing up all the snow (again).
I was impressed with the sound design on this one, I watched it with the sound on my 5.1 surround-sound system turned up and it really felt like I was in a blizzard in Alaska (even on a summers day here in Yorkshire – not hard I hear you say). I also liked the cinematography, making full use of the scenery, but with some great close-up work as well. All the performances were very good; particularly Liam Neeson as Ottway, he played the starring role very well (as you’d expect). Also worthy of note were; Frank Grillo as Diaz, Dermot Mulroney as Taglet, Dallas Roberts as Hendrick, Joe Anderson as Flannery and Nonso Anozie as Burke.
For a film set in the wilderness it, surprisingly, relied heavily on the dialogue between the various characters. Some of which was very well written and well delivered; I just felt the pictures could have told more of the story. It was a little cliché in places and I did feel, towards the end, that they were running out of ways to kill them off. A little too long (IMO), but there was just enough there for me to deem it RECOMMENDED (just).
My score: 6.5/10
IMDb Score: 7.0/10 (based on 71,689 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 64/100: (Based on 35 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 64/100 ‘Liked it’ (based on 64,605 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE
Ottway: A job at the end of the world. A salaried killer for a big petroleum company. I don't know why I did half the things I've done, but I know this is where I belong, surrounded by my own. Ex-cons, fugitives, drifters, assholes. Men unfit for mankind.
Ottway's Wife: Don't be afraid.
Ottway: [trying to calm him] It's good. It's good that it hurts.
Flannery: It's good?
Ottway: It's good, yeah.
Flannery: Oh well then I'm fuckin' fabulous.
Ottway: Put that back. Put it Back! We're not looting dead bodies for swag.
Diaz: You got lucky today Ottway. You should be lying there with them. Don't push it.
Ottway: I'm not going to say it again.
Diaz: Motherfucker take a big step back!
Ottway: I'm going to start beating the shit out of you in the next five seconds. And you're going to swallow a lot of blood for a fucking billfold.
Hendrick: Is that it? You're just gonna sit there? Is that what you want?
Hendrick: After what we survived?
Diaz: That's exactly why. What I got waiting for me back there? I'm gonna sit on a drill all day. Get drunk all night. That's my life. Turn around and look at that.
Diaz: I feel like that's all for me. How do I beat that. When will it ever be better? I can't explain it.
Ottway: Once more into the fray. Into the last good fight I'll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day.