David Hackl’s Into The Grizzly Maze is a rollicking B-movie fun. The film sees Thomas Jane, James Marsden and Billy Bob Thornton face-off against one mean Grizzly Bear. Yes it’s Jaws in the woods – but how can that not make you want to watch it?
Thomas Jane and James Marsden are estranged brothers. One is a lawman (Jane) and the other is a criminal (Marsden) but they’re forced to put their differences aside when they come up against a vicious man-eating bear which is munching its way through the Alaskan wilderness. Thornton is the Quint-like character who wants to take the bear down, while Scott Glenn and Piper Perabo offer support.
It’s wonderful that Into The Grizzly Maze (also known as Red Machine) doesn’t try to hide its aim under any pretensions. It’s a monster movie and it plays to those horror/thriller strengths. You know that everyone involved went into this wanting to create a certain type of old-school man against nature movie. The Jaws comparisons are obvious, but if you’re going to ape (or should that be bear) a movie, then why not copy the film that created the modern blockbuster. Director David Hacki delivers on the promise of J.R Reher’s far-fetched and derivative script that wears it’s monster movie credentials on its sleeve (it’s grizzly in more ways than one). The Canadian locations look great and the cast deliver, with Jane delivering old school masculinity, while Billy Bob Thornton chews more scenery than Bart The Bear as the hunter eager to bag the killer grizzly.
Into The Grizzly Maze is silly, but it’s a good piece of entertainment. It doesn’t try to be anything other than a killer bear movie and it delivers on that level. If that’s the type of movie that you’re in the mood for then you need to go Into The Grizzly Maze.