'Tis the season for convenient listicles that forever codify the Best and Worst of the year's cultural artifacts, and this weekend New York Times film critic A.O. Scott gave us his top 10 films for 2012. There are the usual Serious Oscar Nod Choices (The Master, Lincoln), the Tarantino, and the foreign films your mom vaguely remembers hearing about on NPR (Neighboring Sounds). But The Grey? That Liam Neeson movie about the wolves you never really see and the climax that never really happens? Did Scott mean to forward this to the World Journal of Emergency Surgery's Top 5 Reasons We Removed Shards of Flatscreen Glass From Knuckles in 2012?
This is the still of the movie taken from the trailer that probably made you drop the gravity bong into the bucket, clutch your bag of Bugles tighter, and sputter, "Yes, I will pay $15 to see Liam Neeson box a pack of wolves with gloves made of shards of broken glass. Can I just throw my credit card at the TV?" [SPOILERS AHEAD, but the spoiler is pretty much "Nothing happens in this movie."]
But no, you don't see that happening. You don't see that happening at all. That tiny flash of brilliance comes after 116 minutes and 59 seconds of Liam Neeson grunting weird prayers (Once more into the fray / Into the last good fight I’ll ever know blah blah PUNCH THE GODDAMNED WOLVES ALREADY) and listening to his planewrecked companions use swears like "ass" as they're systematically hunted down by a pack of wolves that are seen less than Neeson's accountant's red pen in the past five years.
Some might argue that the absence of the wolves and unobstructed views of their carnage offer some credence to the movie's deeply atheistic undertones. But if there's any definitive proof that there is no God, it's that the end of the movie is literally a wolf lunging at Liam Neeson and Liam Neeson bracing for an epic fight and palms sweaty and quickening pulse and [ROLL CREDITS].