The Grey: A One-Minute Film Review (2012)

Let’s be honest.  The Grey wasn’t ever going to be a movie that was marketed towards Christian audiences.  The use of raw, guttural language is only slightly less pervasive than that found in your average Tarantino film.  And as for the violence?  Well, how many Christians typically revel in a film in which the main characters are brutally eliminated in often grotesque fashion by a pack of ravenous wolves?  No.  This is most certainly not Fireproof and it is definitely not Courageous.  This is not filmmaking that is methodically geared to sentimentally reinforce everything a Christian already believes to be true.  This is filmmaking on the level of Roland Joffe’s The Mission or Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life.  And for Christians that love the medium of film and for Christians that long for a film to seriously explore the theological problem of pain, The Grey is exactly the kind of movie that you are looking to see.  It’s a film that refuses to offer overly-simplistic answers; and it’s a film that gives equal voice to both the faithful and the atheist alike.   Consider the words of writer/director Joe Carnahan:

“If an atheist sees this film, they say, ‘There’s no way [Liam Neeson’s character] believes in God.’  [But when] the most hardcore Christian sees this film, they say, ‘Absolutely he believes in God!’ …  This is the way of the universe and certainly it’s the way of nature.  Nothing is given.  Nothing is certain.  And I think that as you get older you start to think about things … There are things that start to occur to you where you go, ‘What’s out there? What’s waiting for me? What’s the afterlife look like? Is there an afterlife?’” [1]

If that kind of mentality doesn’t excite you as a Christian fan of film, than this is not likely the movie for you to see.  But if you appreciate harrowing survivalist tales in which man must not only face the demons of nature, but his fragile belief in the existence and goodness of the divine, The Grey is is a must-see.  Raw, uncompromising, and built with a fine-tuned precision towards a beautifully executed smash-cut ending, The Grey should rightfully take its place alongside the very best films of 2012.

This film has been rated R by the MPAA for  for violence/disturbing content including bloody images, and for pervasive language


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