If you still plan on seeing this movie, do not read this review because it is fraught with spoilers.
In the movie, a plane load of men who work for an oil company goes down in the wilderness. There are seven survivors. During the first night, they lose one man to the wolves and Liam gets bitten by one. They then decide to leave the wreckage and go off to find a place safer from the wolves. One by one the men are killed by either the wilderness or the wolves.
My problem with the movie started early on. When they were bothering to grab stuff to burn, why was no one barricading the entrance to the fuselage that they used for shelter? Why stick one man out by a fire to “be on watch” when there was more than enough crap to barricade everyone inside plus have a fire in there without suffocating them all from fumes. It was stupid. Even the survivors in the B-flick Yeti knew enough to do that.
Why didn’t they go through the luggage strewn around for more weapons, clothes, and food? What were they all carrying around in those damn backpacks they were carrying? You rarely saw anyone get into them for anything so they were more or less for show. Dumb. If Liam had found his rifle intact, I would have gotten up and walked out. He did find shells and they made this big production about how to use them as “boom sticks” in case a wolf attacked. Right after the talk, a wolf attacks the group and Liam uses his to kill it. That was it for the boom sticks…no one else used theirs the rest of the movie or even bothered to finish making them even though it obviously worked. This irritated me. Why waste the time explaining the damn things if you were going to use it once in the movie even though you had five shells??? DUMB!
Liam also tells everyone that they might be near the den of the wolves and that is why they are so violent. First and foremost, let me say that there are very few wolf attacks on file for all of North America, including Alaska. The first possible one was in 2006 and then the biologist experts weren’t sure it was a wolf or a bear that actually killed the hiker. Wolves don’t attack people. Loud noises scare wolves away and wild life conservationists say they do not consider wolves dangerous if people take the same precautions they would take with a bear or other wild animal.
So let’s say, for arguments sake, that they were “close” to the den and this was making the wolves mad. Wolves still don’t act the way they did in this movie – a bear maybe, but not a wolf. This movie gives wolves a bad rap just like Jaws did with sharks – it spreads an irrational fear that ranchers and farmers in states with wolves can use to hunt the animals to virtual extinction as they have done in the past.
For all the groups walking, they didn’t really get very far but that is understandable considering how rugged the landscape was. What was about as impossible as a pimple on a rhino’s ass is that Liam ends up in the “nest” as he calls the den area, in the end. OK, he is in ALASKA. The chances of finding the den is about as possible as finding a particular snowflake on Mt Everest in the wintertime. They jump off a cliff, for pity’s sake, yet still end up in the den area. Oh please! Not to mention the fact that the men jump off the cliff but yet the wolves beat them to the bottom to devour the man unlucky enough to fall. Those wolves must have sprouted wings to get off the cliff that fast when the men discerned there was no way down but to jump.
Personally, I would have stayed in the damn river. Sure, I probably would have froze to death but it would be better than being ripped apart by wild animals. The man who drowned was the lucky one. And really, what was up with the damn watch that they kept hoping was sending out a signal when no one was even looking for them? Why bring the watch up at all? It served no purpose.
I know what all those who saw a deeper meaning in the movie are thinking. It was an epic tale of survival but more than that, it was the tale of living or dying each day – it is your choice. Fight or give up. Die on your conditions or leave it all to chance. Do we give up and let death wash over us or do we fight to the bitter end? Into the fray once more?? Oh bother, did it just take two hours to figure that out? Really? Let me break the news to you folks, we live or die each day whether we want to or not. Each day could be the day we die – each day could be the day we truly live. Those who needed a 2-hour movie to tell them that must live very sheltered lives. Let’s romanticize the whole thing – at least he ended up with his dead wife who repeatedly tells him not to be afraid throughout the movie. It was obvious from the get-go that she was dead, I don’t know why they made that look like some big unveiling in the end. He doesn’t talk about her in the beginning as if she left him for someone else or because they got a divorce – it was obvious that she had died and he was lost without her.
I guess I was hoping for more of a “The Mountain Between Us” type of story – not the romance part but the part of human survival against all odds. More like “The Edge” – it would have been a pretty damn good movie if it had been but no, it wasn’t about human survival but humans learning to give up and die. I know some of you are probably thinking “I’d like to see how you act if you crashed in the frozen wilderness” – my answer is very simple, I would die. I wouldn’t need to rationalize it – I know that I am not a strong person and I don’t deal well with the cold. Let me crash on a tropical island and then the game would be on.
Overall, I found the movie boring and had to force myself to sit through it. I will not buy it or see it again…once was plenty for me. Hopefully tomorrow’s movie “Woman in Black” will be more entertaining. I love Liam but damn, that movie sucked.