Grizzly – The Red Machine (Thriller, Action, Horror 2014) (PG-13) D: David Hackl: P: W: Guy Moshe, JR Reher +: C: Thomas Jane, James Marsden, Billy Bob Thornton, Scott Glenn, Bart the Bear 1h 34m. Canada.
TAGLINE : Hunt or be hunted Synopsis: Two estranged brothers reunite at their childhood home in the Alaskan Wild. They set out on a two day hike and are stalked by an unrelenting grizzly bear.
Nature enforces it’s will over man in this soppy thriller, two estranged brothers who are tightly bound by memories of a bear attack on their father but separated by different lifestyles, begrudgingly reunite to fight a common for, a grizzly bear on the hunt for revenge. It’s not the most imaginative plot and is much like other hunt movies such as Jaws (1975) or the Edge (1997).
While Grizzly isn’t improved with such lovable characters such as Brody and Quint from Jaws, it does remain, man is pitted against the toughest unrelenting killer who cannot be bargained with. Joining the brothers is the seasoned hunter (basically the Quint of the flick) Douglas (Billy Bob Thornton) Once he arrives with his pritty horsey, and they are deep in the woods the pace starts to pick up, but don’t get too excited..
Expectedly this film revolves around beautiful long shots of the Canadian forests and is accompanied by a fitting score. While the bear attack scenes adopt a shaky rapid movement cut scene technique to the point where it’s hard to really see what’s going on but these are the stronger segments. On a personal note I admire any stunt actor who does up against a bear, even in a controlled environment. Sadly there does seem to be an irritating formula for every bear attack scene that dulls the movie a little With such a host of big named stars involved in the movie is as mediocre as the plot and the depth of the characters are just weak.
Director David Hackl, known for having a hand in the Saw franchise and directing Saw V (2008) seems out of his depths in a much larger out door arena and having to deal with real drama that can’t be enhanced by creepy traps. Everything is cobbled together in a bizarre mixture without any real tension. Something just doesn’t gel together here. Rowan (James Marsden) mistakenly picks up a hooker who gets stroppy and leaves, I’m pretty sure he could pull a straight guy, and the seasoned hunter tough guy Douglas (Billy Bob Thornton) misses with nearly every shot no matter how close up he is to the beast. I’ll also mention the example of the deaf girl who is camping and manages to escape the bear by using just the bear mace.
Grizzly is a sedated hunt movie, the frequent bear attacks could have been substituted for fewer more intense attack scenes with better cinematography and maybe some artistic flare, there aren’t many bear movies out there, but it’s about time we got creative with this theme. We know bears are intelligent creatures I’m sure they are use tools or do I dare suggest a zombie bear? Overall Grizzly doesn’t deliver on excitement, suspense, tension action or gore, it’s just very average all around.
Rating : 5/10
R: Grizzly (1976), The Edge (1997, Grizzly Man (2005) Grizzly Park (2008) Night of the Grizzly (1966) Bear (2010) Orca (1977) Jaws (1975)
BS: The scene where billy bob gets swiped by the teddy bear and gets a cool haircut. How he survives that I just don’t know.
L: Bear Films, When animals attack
5B: Thomas Jane, Billy Bob Thornton.
DGI: Chug a bear for ever bear attack.
T: The film is part dedication to the original Grizzly man Timothy Treadwell who is believed to have been killed by a bear he nicknamed as the Red Machine.