Re-teaming with director Joe Carnahan (A-Team), Liam Neeson once again plays an in-charge kind of guy.
He's Ottway, a sniper who works for an Alaskan oil drilling company. His job is to hide outside the camp in the cold waiting to kill wolves that get too close. He's a loner who wants little to do with his coworkers whom he believes are mostly losers and ex-cons. Their nightly entertainment appears to be gathering at the tavern, drinking too much and breaking a chair over another guy's head.
The next scene has Ottway getting on a plane with a lot of those same guys during a severe storm. He tells the man in the next seat that he doesn't want to be bothered and shuts his eyes to daydream about a pretty woman laying in bed next to him ( it's the same image that he thinks about over and over). Is she his wife, his sweetheart, has she left him? - we don't get answers until the end of the film.
Ottway is awaken by the plane shaking violently, loud noises as if parts are falling off and backpacks and people being tossed around (for someone who's afraid to fly - this was pretty scary stuff). The plane crashes and after sifting through the debris and bodies, Ottway discovers that he's one of only seven survivors.
The men have no food, a storm is coming and a pack of wolves are hot on their heels. Because of Ottway's experience with the animals, the men reluctantly accept him as their leader in hopes that he can keep them alive. They spend a lot of time treading through deep snow, stopping to build a fire where they discuss their faith in God, or in most cases, their lack of belief and fighting off wolves who pick them off one by one.
The wolves, both real and CG versions are very frightening, but the humans are so thinly developed its hard to really care about them, even Ottway is an enigma. Liam Neeson has become a reliable action hero - he just needs a better story to sink his teeth into.