Grizzly – Man vs. beast (and for the most part, you root for the beast)
Directed by: David Hackl
Rowan (Marsden), fresh off of serving a seven year prison sentence, returns home to go searching for a friend that has gone missing in the nearby mountains. First though he is re-united with his brother Beckett (Jane). The reunion is not a tender one, as Beckett (a local police officer) has to break up a hotel parking lot fight between Rowan and a pimp who was beating one of his “Ladies”. Although there is unresolved issues between the brothers, Beckett asks Rowan to stay at his place while he is in town.
Soon, the brothers (along with the rest of the town) discover that there is a bear killing people in the woods. Now obviously the next part of the story is them deciding how to handle the bear. One thing I want to touch on though is who the bear is killing. The first group he attacks is a trio of poachers (one of who is Rowan’s lost friend). The second is some men who are illegally logging trees in the middle of the night. Call me crazy, but it seems to me that these lawless hooligans had it comin’… And the bear knows it. There is even a scene in which the bear is stalking Beckett’s wife Michelle (Perabo doing a pretty impressive job at playing a deaf woman) who is a biological conservationist, and he doesn’t attack her.
Anyway… So Everyone is at odds over what to do about the beast. Beckett and Michelle want to tranquilize it and transfer it somewhere else. The local sheriff Sully (Glenn) and hunting/tracking expert (Thornton) want to hunt the damn thing down, and Rowan just wants to find his buddy. Without really deciding who wins that argument, they all head up into the mountains. The rest of the movie is an intense, bloody battle between the group and the giant man-eating grizzly.
Man vs. beast has been done before, and done well (Jaws, Jurassic Park, The Edge). “Grizzly” is a solid entry into the genre. It is straight forward, and even a tad predictable but it is also well acted, well paced, and down right entertaining. Also, like I said before, I actually enjoyed watching the bear disassemble the first few humans it got it’s hands on. I mean talk about “Humans are the real bad guy.”. The third act alone is worth the price of admission, as director David Hackl really shows his suspense prowess by having the bear relentlessly chase after the good guys (and gals). I was entertained the whole way through. All in all a solid effort by everyone involved.