Review: The Grey (15)

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AIR transport may well be trumpeted as the safest form of travel but for film-makers, the possibilities of disaster above terra firma are irresistible.

Set in the frozen mountains of Alaska, The Grey is a nightmarish thriller about a group of oil-rig workers who survive a devastating plane crash, only to find that they have plummeted into the hunting ground of a pack of snarling wolves.

It’s a classic showdown between man and Mother Nature, and as usual, our arrogance, believing we stand tall atop the food chain, is swiftly punished by the wily predators.

The pivotal crash sequence is orchestrated with brio by director Joe Carnahan, who depicts the carnage through the eyes of the central character as he drifts out of consciousness, flames licking the air above his head as the fuselage disintegrates.

Visual effects really come to the fore once the survivors stumble out of the wreckage when digitally rendered wolves are combined with trained live animals and puppet animatronics.

Unfortunately, the computer-generated creatures don’t look realistic and the script, co-written by Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers, has bark but no bite.