Monday, September 21, 2015

Into the Grizzly Maze – James Marsden and Tom Jane vs. Bears

Runtime: 94 minutes
Release Date: August 13, 2015
Rating: R
Director: David Hackl

Rowan returns to his home town after a stint in jail. He's the black sheep of the family, see? After meeting a girl at the bar and taking her back to his hotel room, she reveals she's a stripper and demands payment. Like any woman would turn down James Marsden! Her pimp later shows up and starts beating her up in the parking lot, so he runs down to save her. The cops show up, and one of the cops, Beckett (Thomas Jane), takes him to the side. It turns out that they're brothers, but Beckett is the good son.

Into the Grizzly Maze throws a bunch of characters at us all at once. Douglass (Billy Bob Thornton) is an unscrupulous grizzly hunter who often breaks the law when hunting. Kaley is Rowan's ex-girlfriend and a cop on the local force. Johnny Cadillac, and yes that is seriously his name, is a former friend of Rowan's who now hunts grizzlies. There's also Scott Glenn as the head of the police force and Piper Perabo as Michelle, Beckett's wife.

After hearing some reports of wild bears spotted in the area, the police force mans up. Unfortunately, Michelle went into the woods to take some pictures on the same day. I say unfortunately because she's deaf and apparently uses the ground movements to tell if there is a bear in the area. That doesn't work out too well for her as she gets trapped by a grizzly. Rowan just so happens to be in the area, saves her, and they run off together. Beckett and Kaley head off into the woods to find Michelle, while Scott Glenn sticks around to mobilize the troops and potentially let Billy Bob loose.

I rented Into the Grizzly Maze on the assumption that it would play like an Asylum movie, and I ended up being pleasantly surprised. While it does play like an Asylum movie you might come across in the middle of the night on Sy-Fy, it's actually like a better version of one of those movies. Even though everyone in the movie took themselves so seriously, I lost count of how many times the BF and I ended up laughing while watching it.

Rowan is the black sheep of the family, and I can say that because they mention it once every 10 minutes or so. They bring it up when he comes back, when he goes to his father's old house, when his brother learns he's with his wife, when he finds the wife, when they all catch up together. We get the point, James Marsden is the bad guy!

Adam Beach also turns up for a short period of time as Johnny Cadillac. I think he's a great actor, so I have no idea why he ended up in what was basically a cameo. Actually, I'm not sure how anyone other than Jane and maybe Perabo ended up in this movie. It seems like there was a chance it might get a theatrical run, but come on! Who thought a movie like this would play in theaters anymore? Even sadder is that it took over three years between the movie was announced and when it finally came out.

Based on my review, some might think I hated the movie, but I actually kind of dug it. It's like someone came up for an idea for an Asylum movie, got a little extra funding, and grabbed some big name stars without changing the budget or script. Who wouldn't like that?

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