February 22, 2012

Theatrical Review: The Grey (2012)

The story of The Grey revolves around Liam Neesons' character who shoots wolves for a living in Alaska, who seems to be fairly depressed about it. So depressed is he, that he puts a gun in his mouth and decides to remove his head from his own body, until he hears some wolves howling... 

I guess he took that a challenge from the wolves, and figured he'd better go on living to kill more of them. 

Or, it could have to do with something deeper, like his destiny calling to him or something, but we really like the "kill 'em all" idea better.

Aww, Liam has a sad.
When Neeson and his crew of oil-drilling roughnecks board a plane to head home, a blizzard sets in mid-flight and rips the plane apart, and they crash in the vast Alaskan wilderness. Did the wolves send that blizzard to get revenge on the wolf killer? Possibly. Wolves have been known to dabble in magic from time to time... It does seem likely though, because once the survivors of the crash band together and start trying to survive, a pack of wolves set their sights on them, determined to kill all of the humans who are intruding on their turf. Their magic turf.

Keep going, you'll make it! LOL!
The Grey is packed with scene after scene of tense, sometimes nail-biting action, most of which involves unarmed, half-frozen men trying to fend off bloodthirsty wolves with sticks. You can just imagine how that goes for most of them.

Yeah, it pretty much ends like that.
The idea of Liam Neeson fighting wolves with his bare hands sold us on this movie from the get-go. Let's be honest here; Liam Neeson is the kind of actor that instantly makes any movie better, just for him starring in it. Add to that the fact that Joe Carnahan was directing, and it was pretty much a no-brainer for us. For those of you that don't know Joe Carnahan, go check out Smokin' Aces, and the vastly underrated Narc; the guy knows action, and can navigate dark territory really well.

What you might not be able to imagine is how deep the story actually goes. Carnahan crafted himself a harrowing story of survival with The Grey, but amidst the action is an equally compelling story about the frailty of the human condition, and the Demons that haunt us all. At times, The Grey gets downright sentimental, causing manly tears to be shed... though not ours of course. We're far too manly to cry at movies, even if you were in the same Theater as we were, and you swear that you saw/heard us crying. That wasn't us. That was some other guys.

Liam didn't cry though, Nope. Not once. Alright, maybe once, but that was from the cold.
Why not just stay with the plane? I get why they left, and I may have done exactly the same thing in their situation, but what if they had stayed with the plane? Wouldn't the black box have been located in a few days time, and then they could have been rescued? Most likely they would have frozen to death before being found, but the thought of them living had they hunkered down in the plane until help arrived still stuck with us throughout the movie.

Looks pretty safe and warm to us...
The fact that there's a protest over The Grey's portrayal of wolves as savage animals is pathetic, mainly because they can be savage when threatened, especially in the wild where they are not used to Human contact. In the movie, they felt threatened and were protecting their territory. It just sucks that every little thing these days has to be an excuse for every asshole with a cause to jump on their soapbox to bring attention to their own personal agenda.

Respect his animal rights and let him maul you. That's nature's way.
There's plenty of wolf vs. man carnage in this one. A lot of it may be CGI, but it works despite the fakery of it all. You won't like it if you're sensitive to animal violence, though.

None. Given the cast of this movie, we think that's a good thing.

The Alpha Male showdown, without a doubt. Sure, the plane crash sequence was crazy intense and really good, but Liam Neeson taping broken bottles to his hands and making like Wolverine to fist fight an angry, massive wolf, is just about as bad-ass as it gets.

I am so doing this the next time my dog gets unruly...
Alaska does not fuck around. Also, neither do wolves. Also, neither does Liam Neeson. That's a whole lot of no fucking around going on in this movie. 

I'd say run, but why bother?
The Grey is a tension-filled action thriller that operates on a deeper level; almost like it's a philosophical action flick. There's sentimentality to spare amongst the carnage and tension of the wolf vs. man battle for dominance, and that's a good thing. It's nice to see a genre flick that doesn't feel so empty for a change. Go see it while it's still in theaters, but be sure to stay after the credits, as there's a brief scene that was nice to see. Go see it is the lesson here though, as it's a truly great flick.


The Grey is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.


PETA is an asshole, and can suck it.

No wolves were harmed in the making of this movie, and in fact most of the scenes involving wolves were done with CGI. Still, PETA gets on their soapbox and rants and raves about how The Grey portrays wolves as monsters, or how it was rumored that the cast ate wolf meat obtained by a third party trapper, blah, blah, blah...

Listen, no one wants to hurt animals for the sake of entertainment, and portraying wolves as territorial predators is wholly accurate. It was a movie, folks. It didn't make me wish harm on wolves, nor did it change my perspective about them. Wolves are gorgeous creatures, and yet they can also be absolutely ferocious. I hope they all live happy, long, Wolfy lives out in the woods that they inhabit. If they come after me, I hope I kill them to ensure my survival. My survival comes first, along with the survival of my fellow man. That's pack mentality. The wolves are thinking the same thing about us. That's called nature.

If I'm in their territory and they best me, then I had it fucking coming. Sure, I'm pissed that I'm fucking dead, but it's not like they broke into my house in the middle of the night to murder me. Conversely, if they do attack me, and I kill one to save my life, then bully for me.

I would never be inhumane to animals, and yet I had some ham today. Tomorrow I'll have some chicken for dinner, and I like birds just fine. Preach all you want, PETA, but I am carnivore, and you can suck it.

Suck it, suck it, suck it.

We love bunnies, so we should probably protest Monty Python or Night of the Leupus next, eh?
Silly PETA, why would we eat humans when we have so many delicious animals to eat?


  1. Respect for finding reasons to end a review on an all male cast movie with two chick pictures. A bit unsettling, the last one, when you think there are probably people that ate that. And while she was alive, too. And repeatedly, perhaps.

  2. Liam Neeson is amazing, and I can't wait to see him fight a wolf with makeshift worlverine claws and what looks like a bowie knife! (Though, I wouldn't mind if there was some naked in there, too... but it would probably have just led to really awful frostbite anyway.)

    [warning: this post-script may contain soapbox]
    p.s. Please don't judge all wildlife defenders by the crazies at PETA. Wolves are killed in large numbers because they are perceived as a threat (even though they often aren't) which has decimated their population (they are endangered). Not to say I think this movie somehow advocates wolf-killing, just saying that it is true that wolves have a serious PR problem.
    [end soapbox]

  3. Well hell, Siderite, after the Lennie James debacle, I'll not make that mistake again. Chicks only :)~

    Good points Renee, and I promise we do understand that wolves tend to be maligned, as well as the fact that many who support people truly do love animals and just want the best for them.

    I try hard not to get preachy about serious topics here, as this site should be fun and resourceful (for movies that is), but I just went on a rant.

    We got nothin' but love for animal activists, just not the hypocritical kind. ASPCA/Humane Society is more our style.

  4. I absolutely loved this movie. Managing a movie theater you have to learn when to keep your mouth shut. For example: so many people walked out of this movie disappointed because there wasn't any Liam vs. wolf fighting. WTF? I just wanted to say to them "You missed the point of the movie ass!!!"

  5. Yeah Buff, I truly beieve most people miss most points these days...

  6. I loved this film
    I had man tears
    great movie
    (and I did stick around till after the credits -one of only two who did!)
    awesome flick.
    Who can guess at the epic struggles to survive we all face in our own ways, got to find a way to master the black wolf - its literally you or him.

  7. Agreed, Anon. Great movie worthy of man tears.