The survival story with one of the most misleading trailers of all-time can be forgiven because it still holds up
There’s a fine line between obscuring a movie’s true intentions in the marketing and being genuinely misleading, with Joe Carnahan’s The Grey falling egregiously into the latter camp.
Arriving shortly after Liam Neeson had solidified himself as cinema’s unlikeliest new action superstar, virtually every trailer, promo, and TV spot ended with the grizzled badass facing down a wolf with broken glass taped to his hands. That visual alone was more than enough to entice audiences to the theater, and it would be an understatement to say many were left crushingly disappointed.
Right when it seems as though The Grey is poised to deliver the man vs. nature showdown we’d all been waiting for… the credits roll. Sure, there’s a brief sequence intimating that Neeson emerged victorious once again, but that wasn’t enough for some folks. However, based on the response to a Reddit thread, such a major sin can be forgiven because the film still holds up.
To be fair, The Grey is an excellent survival thriller featuring one of Neeson’s most underrated performances, and it offers plenty of rich subtext about faith, loss, grief, and whether or not life is something even worth fighting for, not to mention a couple of standout sequences that don’t involve an older gentleman punching a wolf in the face.
Borderline bleak, nihilistic, and surprisingly philosophical, it’s almost ironic that The Grey‘s single biggest failing was the fact it relied so heavily on something it never even planned on delivering to draw in a crowd.
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