The idea of man against nature is one that has fascinated people in one form or another for ages; this idea is something that is very well conveyed in the movie The Grey starring Liam Neeson. The premise of the movie is one that insinuates the motive of revenge, not of man but of nature against man. This aspect is one that is brilliantly conveyed by star Liam Neeson as both the antagonist and the hero of the story.
Neeson's character, Ottway, is employed as a professional hunter in the oil fields of Alaska. Ottway's job is to protect the pipeline crews from the wild animals, especially wolves, as they work in the fields. We quickly realize that Ottway is a man who is desperately unhappy and lonely, this is seen through flashbacks to moments with the woman he loves.
The story finds its true beginning as a plain, bearing several of the oil field workers and Ottway, crashes in the Alaskan wild. It would seem that the immediate concern would be that of finding the survivors, shelter, food and warmth, however, we soon learn that there is a much more immediate threat; the wolves. This lesson is one that soon becomes apparent as one by one the survivors are attacked and, in some cases, torn apart.
Ottway quickly realizes that the hunter has now become the hunted as he racks his brain in order to fight for his ad the other's survival as it seems that the wolves have begun playing a game of cat and mouse. The group slowly decreases in size as, one by one, the men meet their deaths in one grisly form or another. We quickly learn the true character of each of the men as their facades of bravado quickly fade away, leaving the inner person exposed for retrospection as they come closer and closer to their deaths.
One lesson that can be learned from this movie is that everyone has their own motivations in life. Some live for love, some for greed, some live simply to survive and some live simply because their nature simply doesn't allow for them to give up and forces them to fight to the end. The end of the movie divulges the source of Ottway's pain as we realize he lost the love of his life to sickness, leaving him feeling bereft because he couldn't protect her from an unknown predator. We also see that Ottway is determined not to give in without a fight to death.