It’s 10:39 am
My buddy and fellow film buff Romey and I recently dropped by the Family Video store in Westland. I had shopped there while they had their Christmas sale. I wanted to see what they had refilled their shelves with because a lot of collectors had bought a lot of their 5 for 5.00 titles. This left a lot of room for re-stocking and that is what we were looking for.
It turned out that not only did they have to re-stock but they also re-priced a lot movies down as well. Family Video sales generally only run 3-4 days but this sale ran for two weeks,plenty of time to find some fun titles to review…once I told the cheetah that were wolves in “The Canyon”,you just knew what we were going to watch!
“The Canyon” starts with a newly eloped and married young couple Nick and Lori traveling from Chicago to the Grand Canyon for their honeymoon. They check into a motel and are excited to see the Grand Canyon. They are disappointed to find out that they needed to pass a permit into order to go on trial and that all passes are gone. They needed to have ordered them months in advance but because the nature of their wedding (eloping) they didn’t make plans.
As Nick and Lori sit in a local dive talking about their bad luck,an old grizzled trail guide offers to help and take them down. At first the couple is a bit leery but the guide,Henry,says he knows how to get the permit and he has the equipment. Nick gets excited and wants to go and Lori,despite her misgivings,agrees.
The next day,the three set off on their tour will last about 3 days,Henry’s assists them in packing the burros and Henry’s horse.
The journey is peaceful and beautiful as Henry does indeed know the Grand Canyon very well,showing Nick and Lori several little areas that most guides don’t about.
As they travel Lori is a little concerned to see Henry drink,her misgivings are justified when Henry fails to spot a rattlesnake in time as his horse rears and throws hi,breaking his arm. Nick and Lori’s burros also panic and they both are also thrown.
As Henry tries to get away,he is struck twice by two rattlers,he kills them both but the damage is done as their animals have scattered and Lori’s cell phone can’t get a signal.
Nick is able to recover one burro but not the important one,the one with all their packed supplies,including a first aid kit,spare food and water.
As the three huddle around a fire,they hear wolves in the background,rattlesnakes are not the only danger in the Grand Canyon as Henry explains to Nick and Lori.
At the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a critically injured guide and only one burro and no water,what was a planned three day fun getaway suddenly has turned into a real test of survival,one that a pair of big city people are just not ready for….
“The Canyon” is quite excellent,its beautifully filmed on location in the Grand Canyon by Nelson Cragg and expertly directed by Richard Harrah. The story is lean and feels very true to life and that credit goes to writer Steve Allrich.
Filmed in six weeks,”The Canyon” was an all practical effects film,there is no CGI on this one,kids. The wolves are real and even the rattlesnakes used are real which makes for exciting action pieces.
A lot of hard work went into “The Canyon” and thanks to the very strong cast,this is a taut,suspenseful film that will have you talking for quite a while about it.
The cast is led is by one of my favorite character actors,Will Patton (Remember the Titans) as the grizzled guide Henry. Henry,despite being a little down on his luck most likely because of his drinking,is a very good guide and a nice guy just trying to hang on to what he knows,which is the Grand Canyon. He likes Nick and Lori and enjoys getting Nick to follow his lead a little bit.
Eion Bailey (Once Upon A Time) plays Nick and is very good here. His Nick is a little brash and a little fearless,traits that will help him but could also cost him more then he bargaining for.
The lovely Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck) plays Lori,the practical and the brightest of the three. I absolutely loved how she played Lori,not afraid of questioning certain actions and her warrior spirit reminded me of someone else named Lori.
This was Yvonne’s first film role in the United States,she had been doing “Chuck” for two years already on TV as Sarah Walker. Yvonne is a rare actress that can straight up action yet softened it up as a romantic lead and keep the same level of excellence.
“The Canyon” is rated “R” and a run time of 1 hour and 42 minutes. The special features include Yvonne’s audition read,deleted scenes and two making of featurettes.
The cheetah and I both highly recommend “The Canyon” and give it a thumbs/4 paws and tail up.
What survival movie has been your favorite? Drop a comment and let us know in section below!