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Most Out of Left Field, Didn’t See it Coming, Awesome Movie of 2012

the-grey-poster

The Grey

Liam Neeson did a lot of shit this year.  Sadly, he does a lot of shit most years.  Wrath of the Titans, Taken 2 and Battleship are all excellent examples of the kind of crap this great actor has continuously buried himself under recently.  I guess if my wife died in a freak skiing accident I’d loose my shit start making terrible decisions too.  But in a moment of clarity, or maybe just accidentally, the real Liam Neeson showed up for The Grey, a movie no one thought to take seriously until they saw it.

Neeson and a batch of Alaskan pipeline workers survive a horrible plane crash which leaves them stranded in the deepest, darkest parts of the Palin homeland.  No sooner does the wreckage cool than a pack of nasty wolves start hunting them down  With little to survive with in the wreckage, Neeson’s calm, cool, collated wolf sniper tries his best to keep the others alive, but to no avail.  This is a man against nature movie and nature just kicks mans ass like a bully who wants a nerds lunch money, and his life.  Neeson is electric and captivating here, playing a great movie badass, but at the same time constantly unable to save those around him.  It’s so common for movies to parade one invincible, macho stereotype after another out for an audience to eagerly digest.  Hello Jack Reacher!  It’s rare that the badass, as smart and capable as he is, can do so little to save anyone around him.

The Grey has quiet moments of pathos, mesmerizing and honest portrayals of death, exhilarating moments of terror, spiritual railing and in the end establishes itself as one of the great pieces of survivalist cinema.  If Jack London wrote Predator it may have looked something like this.  Nearly a year removed from seeing it I’m still thoroughly sure of how great it is.  I haven’t decided if it’s the best film of the year but nothing took me more by surprise than this.

Runner Ups: Lincoln, The Raid

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