INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE

PrintE-mail Written by J.D. Gillam

Originally known as Red Machine before changing the name to Endangered and Grizzly, this film finally settled on a title that doesn’t sell its premise that well, and that’s just for starters.

Rowan (James Marsden) returns to his home town at the request of the partner of a tracker who has gone missing in the woods. His brother, Beckett (Thomas Jane), is now a cop and is wary of his jailbird brethren turning up out of the blue. Beckett’s partner, Michelle (Piper Perabo), is a conservationist who is photographing wildlife in the woods. Add to this heady mix a rogue grizzly bear that is not one that is being tracked with a GPS collar and is killing both humans and other wildlife, and you’ve got a recipe for a Jaws sequel… sorry, disaster.

There is also a hunter, Douglas (Billy Bob Thornton), and the local Sherriff (Scott Glenn) who is receiving backhanders for allowing hunters to illegally hunt the bears, and Michelle is also deaf, by the way.

The main problem with the film is that even with a damn fine cast and a plotline stolen pretty much straight from 1975, it’s a bit of a jumbled mess.

Backstories are either rushed or just forgotten; characters are given little to do except argue and run except Perabo, who can just run or sign excitedly. There doesn’t seem to be any real purpose for her character to be deaf. Douglas is clearly supposed to be a Quint-like character, but he rings his performance in, and Glenn seems to be rehashing his moments onscreen from Backdraft.

The CGI near the end is deplorable and makes the final battle laughable. If there was an extra ten minutes or so added on to the running time to fill out a few unresolved issues, including the hunters that are with the tracker Johnny Cadillac at the beginning, then we’d have a halfway decent movie.

As it is, it feels rushed. Normally if the action kicks straight in, as a viewer you’re happy, but there is no set up here, no real juxtaposition. Even the opening scene with Rowan and Beckett as children feels unrelated when it should leave you feeling empathy for their characters and maybe able to understand why they grew apart into very different lives.

Hackl has one other major title in his directing belt – Saw 5 – need we say more?

A real missed opportunity here. Not so much hair-raising as hairball.

INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: DAVID HACKL / SCREENPLAY: GUY MOSHE, J.R. REHER / STARRING: JAMES MARSDEN, THOMAS JANE, PIPER PERABO, BILLY BOB THORNTON, SCOTT GLENN / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 17TH

 


Suggested Articles:
Alexey Leonov (Evgeniy Mironov) makes a spectacular emergency landing in his jet fighter aircraft an
By the fifth film in any franchise there’s usually a diminishing of quality. Police Academy 5: Ass
Certain strands of popular fiction have stereotypes attached to them that are so engrained they form
When The Wages of Fear was released in 1953 it garnered great critical acclaim and commercial succes
scroll back to top

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Other articles in DVD / Blu-ray Reviews

THE SPACEWALKER 17 October 2017

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT 17 October 2017

THE KILLER B’ MOVIE COLLECTION 16 October 2017

THE WAGES OF FEAR 16 October 2017

BLOOD FEAST 16 October 2017

POINT BLANK 15 October 2017

YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL SEASON 2 COMPLETE COLLECTION 15 October 2017

WONDER WOMAN 13 October 2017

THE RICHARD PRYOR COLLECTION 13 October 2017

THE UNRAVELING 11 October 2017

- Entire Category -

Sign up today!
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner
Banner