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.
Directed: Joe Carnahan
What we think: Director Joe Carnahan doesn’t have a long list of credits to his name, but I doubt that will bother him in the slightest.
His most popular film off his back catalogue, and one that is considered his best to date is Narc. Of course he helmed the bat shit crazy, guns-a-blazing Smokin Aces. Not forgetting for a minute the over the top and some what bonkers reboot of The A-Team.
Here, Carnahan teams up with Neeson once again, although it was very nearly Bradley Cooper, but we’re glad that Neeson got the gig!
Neeson plays Ottway, a crack shot with a rifle whose job it is is to keep the many oil drilling workers off the menu from the local four legged carnivores.
When the plane transporting the crew back from the end of season crashes in Alaskan no mans land Neeson must battle the elements and inhospitable terrain to find safety, while at the same time avoiding a rather pissed off pack of hungry wolves.
If there is anyone you’d want by your side in this type of situation (Bear Grylls not present) its Nesson. With a few choice words for his new found friends “nobody’s going to find us….and if we don’t move we’re all fucked!” they abandon what little is left of the plane and set out into the wilderness.
This is clearly not the best idea, and its not long before the group are picked off one by one as the race to safety intensifies. With the Alpha male calling the shots wolf side, its Neeson doing the same for the humans as he battles with his own issues (to which become apparent later) as well as those around him. A few nights opening up round the fire and you realise that these men have a significant reason to want to get home alive.
Neeson is level headed and cool, but then put into a situation like this you have to be. The film, lacking in any visual landscape must use the survivors to really build the story, and Carnahan delivers enough tension to the audience to keep them on a knife edge.
The action is integrated well into the emotional side of the plot, and there really is some serious emotion going on out there. That makes the film all the more enjoyable, and by the end you feel for each and everyone of those guys.
The actions scenes are a little more believable, no tanks shooting down planes here. Although we do wonder if Carnahan took inspiration from Cliffhanger for one particular scene.
The film packs an intense punch all the way through, but it will play on the heart strings as well. Neeson is the stand-out but has a solid supporting cast not to let him have to carry the burden all the way through till the end.
View the trailer
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