Judging from reading the reviews, 'The Grey' is a very polarising film. Understandably. As has been said in other films, some people liked or loved it, others disliked or hated it. My main reason for seeing 'The Grey' was Liam Neeson, an actor who is never less than watchable and has been known to be very good regardless of what the rest of the film is like.
Didn't outright hate 'The Grey', there are a few (emphasis on few) things done right and there are far worse films, naming them and summing them up would fill a whole book series or several of them. It isn't even the worst film with Neeson, that dishonour out of the ones personally seen is 'Taken 3'. Having said that, very much disliked it on the most part. Contrary to what has been written in many of the negative reviews, there is much more wrong to the film than being factually inaccurate even though there was illogic and unintentional ridiculousness as a result.
Thank goodness for Neeson, by far the best thing about 'The Grey'. He had a lot on his shoulders to carry the film, being the lead and being crucial to stopping the film from being worse than it could have been. He is more than up to the task and gives a magnetic gravitas that was not present in the acting of the rest of the cast.
Neeson apart, there are a couple of other redeeming qualities. The landscape is both bleakly atmospheric and strikingly beautiful, with moments of photography that matches that quality. Then there are the scene-stealing wolves, while they are genuinely menacing and like Neeson deserved a much better film they are also characters that one roots for far more than any of the human characters.
Other than those redeeming qualities the rest of 'The Grey' doesn't work. The photography, as said, has moments, but mostly it's very slipshod and murky. The editing is choppy and not always coherent, especially in the action, while one does not expect to see effects this low-budget and at least 10 years out of date. Music is largely unmemorable and the direction is workmanlike at best and more often than not struggles badly to reach even that.
With the sole exception of Neeson, the acting is very indifferent though in fairness a lot of them have little to work with with such a bland, bare bones script and emotionally un-investable characters.
Biggest problems are the pacing and the story. The pace is pedestrian and the constant lack of suspense, tension and excitement severely hurts it. The story's action is under-utilised and when there is any it's poorly edited, ridiculous and dully choreographed. The psychological elements were an intriguing idea, executed in a crying out for more meat on the bones way, further disadvantaged by that none of the characters are interesting. Suspense and tension is next to nil, while the film is rife with ridiculousness and parts that are illogical. The cliff scene is an embarrassment.
Overall, the colour grey has rarely been this bland. 3/10 Bethany Cox