Contrarian Corner: Let's talk about 'The Grey'

the-grey-liam-neeson

The Grey, Liam Neeson‘s latest January release that features the gruff 59-year-old Irishman screaming at and fighting with every living creature around him, may have gotten a middling review from EW critic Lisa Schwarzbaum, but it still managed to debut with $19.6 million over the weekend, and earned many positive reviews from critics across America. (Audiences issued the film a “B–” CinemaScore grade, with 76 percent giving it an “A” or “B”.) A lot of people, it’s safe to say, were very much on board with the man vs. wolf film.

Here’s the thing, though: The Grey was the most depressing film I’ve seen in years. I disliked every single character in the film. Heck, I was rooting for the wolves to prevail, just so the movie would end! (WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD)

Watching people walk through snow just isn’t that compelling. But it’s even less compelling when you can’t stand any of the men doing the walking. These guys were the most defeated, grim characters I’ve encountered in a long while. Time and time again, the grizzled group set off for a long hike, stopped to question Neeson’s leadership, fought for a few minutes, kept walking, and then someone would die. This pattern of death followed by argument followed by death happened over. And over. And over.

In between deaths, the survivors cussed each other out and argued. One worker mentioned his daughter using her hair to wake him him up, and for a brief glimmering second he seemed like a human, but that emotion was quickly extinguished.

So, all those death scenes hardly roused any feeling. One man collapsed in the snow, a few got eaten by wolves, and one man just gave up and decided he wanted to die. Seriously, he just sat down on a log because he was feeling sort of glum — not because he was totally exhausted (he was hurt, but still able to progress) — he was merely sad. And the other survivors just left him there to die! Apparently, in this group, pleading for someone to hold onto his life would have been unthinkable — they didn’t care one lick about each other, which made it hard to root for their survival.

I’ll admit, the movie boasted a beautiful, well-shot Alaskan landscape, but as a snowy survival story, The Grey left me feeling very cold. So, either I’m heartless, or the story was. What did you think about The Grey?

Read more:
The reinvention of Liam Neeson: Action star
Is Liam Neeson really an action star?
Box office report: ‘The Grey’ is No. 1 with $19.6 mil

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