Joe Carnahan is a tough director to track. He's made five features, four of them major releases and their themes and styles are split more or less down the middle. Narc, his first real feature, is a gritty and brutal cop drama filmed in insane hand cam with wild saturated colors. His two middle films are just the opposite. Smokin' Aces utilizes an enormous cast to play out a video game script thats entertaining but definitely silly. The A Team was Carnahan's true entry into Hollywood filmmaking. He had major movie stars and a 110 million dollar budget so he went to town. I enjoy all his previous efforts and his name was really the only reason I ventured into the theater to see The Grey.
I'll try not to really talk about the actual events of the film as that'd really just end up giving things away. The trailer does a fairly good job of setting the movie up though but it fails at everything else. Yes there are wolves in this movie. Yes they're antagonistic. And yes, everyone, once and again they are digitally rendered and not really the best looking. But the amount they're shown in the trailer is in stark contrast to how much they appear in the film, percentage wise. The real villain in the film is the harsh Alaskan elements themselves and I'm happy that Carnahan didn't create a digital creature film.
The last thing I'll say is that the films ending is a bit shocking. Not in the events that transpire but more that Joe Carnahan had the balls to end the film the way he does. It's very different from anything you would expect from him. The audience I saw it with grumbled into the lobby about it but I really loved it. I hope those of you who bother to see it will do.