Le cul entre les deux chaises

An American Spaniard in France or: How I Learned to Make an Ass of Myself in Three Cultures

The Grey (2011)


Caught up with The Grey recently, which is the movie where Liam Neeson kicks some wolves’ asses. It was a pretty big hit when it came out so I was surprised by how little I liked it. The marketing led me to believe that it was like Liam Neeson’s previous ass-kicking title, Taken, which featured significantly more butt whooping.

If any of the movie had been fun, I would have forgiven its language failure, but given nothing else interesting to latch onto, I’ve got to call it out on its bad Spanish.

At one point, Liam’s position as number one bad ass among the survivors of a plane crash in Alaska is challenged by a fellow passenger. “Nomass,” he says, rhyming with a Colorado ski resort. I didn’t really understand how this comment could make the other guy back down until a later scene pans across the sleeping group.

The guy in question had “no mas” tattooed on his neck. This is odd because apparently he was Hispanic (which wasn’t made clear earlier in the film) as well as illiterate since the only way to spell this phrase meaning “no more” is as no más, with an accent. Also, it’s not even remotely pronounced like Snowmass.


In Spanish, “illiterate” is analfabeto, meaning “without alphabet” which is kind of lovely except it always makes me think of Dr. Tobias Fünke’s profession.

Author: le cul en rows

I'm an American Spaniard, living in France. I like to tell stories.

2 thoughts on “The Grey (2011)

  1. I love the fact that your review was pretty much entirely linguistic! I love/hate it (depending on context) when language is used weirdly in english pop culture.
    Also, Tobias Funke = most ridiculous man ever.
    You havent dissuaded me from watching The Grey though.

    • If you do see The Grey please report back. Now that you know what the tattoo means, the movie will surely make more sense. I can’t tell you the number of people who’ve googled a variation on the tattoo question (hundreds?) because it’s totally distracting.
      Thanks for commenting!

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