Screenplay by: Jor Carnahan
Starring: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Thriller
Colour, 117 Minutes
In Alaska, an oil drilling team struggle to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Hunting the humans are a pack of wolves who see them as intruders.
I must say, I was impressed with how thrilling and scary the first 30 minutes after the plane crashes were. It is the horror side of the film that makes you wonder what will happen next in tension-filled scenarios. There is one shot that John has a stick with a flame on it and he turns round only to see in the dark, eyes of a wolf staring into the group, which soon becomes many pairs of eyes. After this though, the wolves don't play a big significance, but rather a danger they must all be cautious of.
The editing and effects that we get to see were just fantastic. Aside the dashingly cold-looking visuals we see on the groups venture, we get a very well edited plane crashing sequence with jittery audio and camerawork that is highly simulative. We do not get many big special effects, aside the CGI wolves, but the plane crashing sequence was very well executed.
Liam Neeson was nothing short of brilliant with a great screen presence. His character is somewhat the leader of the group, and the wise man who guides them. John’s character is a middle-aged widower, whose previous work involved the shooting of wolves and he portrays it perfectly with his deep Irish voice and great expressions.
The film has a philosophical touch making it all the better as we hear the argument of being scared as one announces, “I do not live a life of fear”. John soon replies, “then you’re a fool if you are not scared”, as he does no fear being stranded where he is. To me, this is correct. I know I would be scared out in Antarctica stranded. The films other philosophical side includes that of the meaning of life, and even the existence of god as our fleshed-out characters come to lose faith.
The thing that keeps the film being interesting, is thinking of just how far they will get. You ask yourself “Will they die, or will they eventually find a safe haven?” It is true the film can be quite boring due to the constant journey they have, but there is enough moments of humour, scares and interesting dialogue to keep you enthused. The concept is not 100% original, of course, but seeing them struggle through the blistering snow makes up for an excellent adventure story.
Verdict: For a patient viewer, the films slow and desolate progression will have audiences on edge with its thrills, chills and adventure.
Age Certificate: 15