Short Review: Good acting, good directing, good script, horrible premise. Wolves hardly ever attack people, and they certainly don’t hunt them down as depicted in this movie. Just on principle alone, please don’t see it.
Directed by: Joe Carnahan
Known for: A-Team, Smokin’ Aces and Narc.
Main Actor: Liam Neeson
You know him from Taken (2008), Batman Begins (2005), Star Wars: Episode I, Schindler's List (1993)
Ugh, where do I begin. Well, here’s the thing. This an example of a movie that isn’t bad when you look at just the quality of the movie. Like I said, the directing was good, so was the acting (Liam Neeson is always excellent), and the script told a good survival story with some back story mixed in so you really cared for the characters.
And the story itself was good. You had a big plane crash in the middle of nowhere in Alaska and at first they’re simply trying to keep warm and getting emotional over the deaths of their coworkers and friends from the oil company they all work for. The character development and emotions evoked is all good film making.
And then they find a wolf munching on someone. This, at first, is mostly realistic. Wolves are hunters, but if they find a free meal, they’ll go for it. If that dead thing happens to be a person it would likely eat it just as it would any other dead body.
But then the wolf attacks Liam Neeson as it comes upon a wolf and its find. THIS IS NOT REALISTIC. There have been many reports of wolves just scampering off when a human approaches it, EVEN IF IT’S EATING ITS OWN KILL!
I was really hoping that there would be some supprising reason that these wolves were hunting down and eating the survivors of the plane crash. The people IN THE MOVIE even asked Neeson’s character “aren’t wolves usually afraid of humans?”. But the only reason Neeson offered (the supposed expert in animals) was that either they were near their den, or in their kill zone. Ugh, no. Sorry buddy, but not likely.
Ok, let’s get factual here. Take a look at this link and read up for yourself:
“In Canada, an Ontario newspaper offered a $100 reward for proof of an unprovoked wolf attack on a human.”
And this one: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/13/nation/la-na-wolf-attack13-2010mar13
March 13, 2010|By Kim Murphy
Reporting from Seattle — Hunters were combing the snowy brush around Chignik Lake, Alaska, on Friday in an attempt to hunt down up to four wolves that killed a 32-year-old special education teacher in the first known fatal wolf attack in the U.S. in modern times.
Note: “first known fatal wolf attack“. This article was written in 2010. FIRST KNOWN.
Now, I’m not saying it’s not scary to be attacked by a wolf pack. I’m sure it was terrifying for this teacher.
My point is, this isn’t some menace we need to be worried about. There are MUCH more scary things out there than wolves. And let me tell you about them.
Pet Dogs killing Owners:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in 2000 a study on dog bite-related fatalities (DBRF) that covered the years 1979-1998. The study found reports of 327 people killed by dogs over the 20-year period. Using newspaper articles, the CDC was able to obtain breed "identifications" for 238 of the 327 cases of fatal dog attacks; of which "pit bull terrier" or mixes thereof were reportedly involved in 76 cases. The breed with the next-highest number of attributed fatalities was the Rottweiler and mixes thereof, with 44 fatalities.”
What does this mean? In a twenty year period, our own pet dogs killed 327 people. During that period THERE WAS NO REPORT OF A WOLF ATTACK AND KILL OF A HUMAN. Our own pet dogs: 327, wolves: 0
What about Cows or Sharks?
Cracked.com published an article about how many people Sharks kill per year, compared to how many cows do.
“It actually turned out later that shark attacks were down when compared with previous years. The fact is, on average, only one, single, solitary person in the United States dies from a shark attack each year, a 1 in 3,748,067 chance in your lifetime. For every year that several people are killed by sharks, there are plenty of other years in which no one is.”
But “Cows killed 108 people between 2003 and 2008, an average of about 22 deaths a year...”
So, cows are more dangerous and kill more people per year than wolves and sharks COMBINED.
Jaws was an example of a movie loosely based on a few shark attacks back in 1916 that was pretty scary, but probably not committed by one shark.
The movie inspired the killing of hundreds, possibly thousands of sharks, some legally, some illegally. http://www.elasmo-research.org/conservation/jaws_reconsidered.htm
The author of the book that the movie was based on later felt extremely badly that so many sharks were killed as the result of his story.
“In the years following publication, Benchley began to feel responsible for the negative attitudes against sharks that he felt his novel created. He became an ardent ocean conservationist. In an article for the National Geographic published in 2000, Benchley writes "considering the knowledge accumulated about sharks in the last 25 years, I couldn't possibly write Jaws today ... not in good conscience anyway. Back then, it was generally accepted that great whites were anthrophagous (they ate people) by choice. Now we know that almost every attack on a human is an accident: The shark mistakes the human for its normal prey."”
The Grey was a good movie, but the idea of wolves hunting down and killing people is a bad one. Now that the timber wolves are showing a come back in Minnesota and in other states, they are being removed from the endangered list and hunting seasons being opened up. Is that a super bad idea? I don’t know, I don’t hunt, but I’m not opposed to hunting, especially deer that don’t have natural predators, well, until now.
Is it the film makers job to be responsible about the accuracy of the story they are presenting? No, not really. Should movie goers just watch a movie without taking everything they see for fact? Yes, but we know they don’t as in the case of Jaws and The Da Vinci Code
So, I guess, although there is no law that film makers have to present accurate information concerning real things that exist (like history or animals), but they should be aware that they DO an effect on the culture they live in and they should ask themselves the hard question, is this really the message I want to send?