Liam Neeson’s daughter gets kidnapped… No wait… Liam Neeson looses his memory and finds out… No wait this is the one with the wolves. Liam Neeson has become somewhat of a big time action hero. That is the first thing you need to understand about this film, it’s good, but not what you think it is. We follow a group of men working at an oil Alaskan rig, Neeson plays Ottway, a man who has left a woman behind to hunt wolves to protect the workers. After the men’s plane crashes on a return flight, they finds themselves not only dealing with surviving the crash and the cold, but wolves pop up and start attacking them. The men go through a lot as they face death. This movie is one of the grittiest films I’ve seen in a while and I enjoyed it.
The best thing about the film is how real it feels, the plane crash is brutal and real. It really had me taking a deep breath. Ottway is an obvious man’s man and knows exactly what to do as the survivors of the crash try and survive. What stands out though is several characters that only have maybe even just minutes of screen time matter. This makes the death and pain in the film feel real.
What really stands out about the film is the work with the wolves. No real wolves seemed to be used, but at the same time the CGI is limited and not obvious. The wolves are mostly heard and off screen. It makes them scarier. Films seem to be pulling away from the idea that less is more. The film “Alien” is scary as all hell because we barely see the alien attacking the crew. Carnahan uses great techniques to scare the audience with the wolves. A lot of the time we just see their eyes or breath in the cold air. It works.
Another big surprise is what the characters go through, the problems men have with each other. The concept of death and what do you do if when facing death you don’t believe in an afterlife. The film gets deep in places which I’m sure some audiences won’t exactly see coming. For me the film works just on so many levels. It’s scary and intense, but the best thing about it is with not a lot of screen time I really felt for the characters, they felt real, I cared if they lived or died, that with the fact that the film took chances and seemed old school made it a great movie experience.