8 The Grey
Director: Joe Carnahan
Starring: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney, Frank Grillo, Dallas Roberts, Nonso Anozie, Joe Anderson, Ben Bray, James Badge Dale
Liam Neeson’s shift into marquee action-man territory has at best resulted in fun junk like Taken, at worst in Eurotrash drivel like Unknown. With The Grey, he’s broken the slump: the film was developed for Bradley Cooper, but it’s hard to imagine his pretty face at the centre of this terse, solid survival thriller.
Neeson is Ottway, a hard-bitten hunter stranded at an oil outpost. When his plane back to civilisation crashes in the frozen wastes, Ottway must lead a ragtag band of survivors to safety. But surviving blizzards and scaling ravines is one thing, dealing with timber wolves quite another.
After the excesses of The A-Team, this is Carnahan stripping it back to basics. The action sequences thrill, the shocks are effective and the film has a streamlined, Hawksian narrative drive which carries it through the rough spots. Best of all, though, is Big Liam: sharp, surly and mean, he’s as close as we’ll get to a modern John Wayne. Who saw that coming? Tom Huddleston
Weekly box office: Dhs323,505
Weekly admissions: 7,763
Total box office: Dhs1,983,948
Total admissions: 52,581