Into the Grizzly Maze (2014) (DVD Review)
Directed By: David Hackl
Starring: James Marsden, Billy Bob Thorton, Thomas Jane
Rated: R/Region: 1/Widescreen/Number of disc: 1
Available from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
James Marsden, Thomas Jane, Piper Perabo and Academy Award® winner Billy Bob Thornton (Sling Blade, 1996) star in this action-packed adventure set in the Alaskan wilderness. After a relentless grizzly starts to wreak havoc on a small town, the sheriff heads into the forest to find his ecologist wife but instead crosses paths with his estranged, ex-con brother. They soon find themselves on the run from the massive killer bear. The hunted become the hunters in this edge-of-your seat thriller about the power of nature and the smell of blood.
You’ve got Freddy and you’ve got Jason, but now you got a big mean grizzly that towers over everyone and isn’t very happy at all. Somewhat based off the story of the late Timothy Treadwell aka ‘Grizzly Man’, the story he told the one bear he was afraid of called “Red Machine”, and his tragic end. This movie was originally titled Red Machine, before getting the new title. There is a cast of folks we’ve all seen in a lot of stuff before, so that keeps the acting side strong. The bear does what he does and that keeps the mauling portion of the film interesting as well. If there is a thing holding this one back, it might be how silly some of the characters act given the situation and how things seem to go for them while they are in the woods. You know they have to do some things in question to make for more tension and drama, but some of the characters, especially the female ones, tend to keep getting themselves in bad situations so they can be bailed out by the male characters. It just seems cartoon-ish at times.
Still, the movie is an alright time if you are into these types of movies. The bear is a cool characters here, even if it is just a bear at the end of the day. There is some drama at the end that gets things a bit more interesting than you might expect, there are some minor surprises, and of course we have some characters being pretty silly given the situation. Basically, if you can also look over how these hunters can’t seem to hit a giant grizzly bear when they have more than one clear shots at it, then it isn’t that bad overall. The acting and the bear does carry the load, with everything else being a bit hit and miss, but still fun. I’ll at least say this, of the list of movies I’ve seen with a killer grizzly bear in them, this one is probably the best of the bunch. Not that there is much competition in the area, but I’m sure this movie will take it where it can get it.