Musings On "The Gray" (SPOILERS!)
It's the very very very ending that left me perplexed. No, not the faux ending before credits that blacks out as our last surviving hero lunges at the (very large!) alpha male in charge of the wolf pack. It's the two or three second clip at the END of the credits that appears to show the last survivor laying down against the mortally wounded wolf.
Here's my thing. I totally understand the men defending themselves against the wolves. But I also understand that the wolves are just doing their thing -- protecting their turf, bringing down food, etc. Unlike the humans, who imbue the wolves with more complex emotions ("what do they want from us?!"), I don't think the wolves are hating on their prey. They're just feasting.
So when hero Liam Neeson makes a heroic last stand and kills the head of the pack (if that is indeed what the final tiny scene represents -- it's not wholly clear), it strikes me as a cruel and almost futile gesture. The movie makes it clear that barring unlikely rescue or a burst of fire from a falling meteor, Neeson's character is going to freeze to death in a matter of hours. But I guess one last chest-puffing macho battle with some dumb critter in the frozen North gives Neeson's character a few moments of solace before entering the great beyond. In which case, that's actually kind of sad. Especially since the dying wolf is probably thinking "ow food pain ow oww" without giving two shits about the meat that jabbed it to death with sharp things.
It's still a good movie. I guess I would have preferred an even bleaker ending.