I don’t know about you, but I sit up when I hear about a new survival adventure. I admit it, I’m a sucker for these movies. I like seeing people battle the elements and survive through ingenuity and sheer force of will
Looking back, I can remember savoring “Five Came Back” and the original “Flight of the Phoenix,” about downed planes in the Amazon and Sahara. Others in this sub-genre that spring to mind: “Inferno” with Robert Ryan, “The Naked Prey” with Cornell Wilde, “Man in the Wilderness” with Richard Harris, “The Emerald Forest” with Powers Boothe, and Lee Tamahori’s much-underrated “The Edge,” with Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin being pursued by a particularly nasty Kodiak bear.
If one were to analyze our attraction to these movies, it would probably come down to some atavistic yearning to return to nature … or reading “Robinson Crusoe” and “Coral Island” as a kid.
That certainly would account for the more recent successes of “Cast Away” and “127 Hours.”
All of this is a roundabout way of saying I’m looking forward to Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey,” starring Liam Neeson and Dermot Mulroney. The good news: Neeson, Mulroney and four other oil-rig workers have survived a hellacious plane crash. The bad: They’re in the middle of the frigid Alaskan wilderness and a pack of timber wolves have their scent.
Here’s the preview for “The Grey,” which made me salivate like a schoolboy. The film opens Jan. 27. We’ll report back then.