John Ottway is preparing to commit suicide. He hunts wolves for a living, to protect oil drillers in Alaska. However, when interrupted, he decides to momentarily put off killing himself, taking one more job. The plane carrying him and his co-workers encounters a brutal blizzard, and they crash land in the Alaskan wilderness. When the survivors find themselves set upon by wild wolves, Ottway becomes their de facto leader. After a few of them are targeted, killed, and eaten, Ottway proposes they leave the area, as they are clearly in the wolves' territory. Diaz, a co-worker with a fiery temper, wants to lead them and suggest they stay, but the group follows Ottway, angering Diaz further. They find shelter and debate with one another the meaning of it all-- a survivor named Talget believes in God and feels there is a larger plan, but Diaz is a full-blown atheist, whereas Ottway desperately wishes there was a God but suspects he's wrong. The wolves send a scout into their camp, and Ottway successfully kills it, cooks it, and serves it to the hungry survivors as dinner. Yet when Diaz mounts the head of the dead wolf on a pike as a warning to the other, Ottway warns him that wolves are the only creatures known to take revenge. When they claim the faithful Talget as their next victim, Ottway, Diaz, and the others must run for their lives or end up as a meal for an angry pack of wolves.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's significantly smarter and deeper than your average action film, successfully combining philosophizing with bloody wolf attack sequences.
Best scene in story:
In a late scene, Ottway finds himself alone in the wilderness, getting surrounded by wolves. He unleashes a stream of profanity at God and the universe, and it's the best acting of Neeson's career.
Opinion about the main character:
Ottway had nothing left to live for, yet he fights for the survival of both himself and others. He's smart, resourceful, and noble-- great traits to find in a hero.