With the Russo brothers (Avengers 3 and 4) at the helm and a Chris Evans-Ryan Gosling duel, The Gray Man has the arguments to be the summer blockbuster on Netflix. Is this action movie worth watching?
What is it about ?
“Gray Man” is the code name of CIA agent Court Gentry, aka Sierra Six. Recruited from federal prison by his case officer, Donald Fitzroy, Gentry was once a fearsome CIA hitman. But the situation has radically changed: Gentry is now the target of Lloyd Hansen, a former sidekick in the CIA, totally determined to track him down around the world to eliminate him. Agent Dani Miranda has it covered – and he’ll need it.
Who is it with?
This new Netflix production brings together a cast of stars. Among the headliners of The Gray Manwe find Ryan Gosling (Never Forget, La La Land, First Man), Chris Evans (former Captain America at Marvel), Ana de Armas (Knives Out, No Time To Die), Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton) and Jessica Henwick (Iron Fist, Matrix Resurrections).
But that’s not all since the secondary characters are not left out, they are thus embodied by Alfred Woodard (Desperate Housewives), Billy Bob Thornton (Armageddon, Fargo), Wagner Moura (narcos), Julia Butters (revealed in Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood), Michael Gandolfini and finally the Kollywood star Dhanush.
Well worth a look ?
Netflix unleashes heavy artillery for its new blockbuster The Gray Man and pits two stars of the big screen against each other: Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. The first is the CIA agent Sierra Six, the second is a Lloyd Hansen, a former CIA agent now working on his own, who will track the first around the world.
This spy thriller is freely adapted from the novel of the same name, the first of a literary series signed Mark Greaneyaction specialist who also lent a hand to Tom Clancy for his last novels before his disappearance and who continued the universe of Tom Clancy and the adventures of Jack Ryan thereafter.
The source material is therefore not lacking in scenes of fights, chases and shootouts and its cinematic adaptation is not stingy in action and explosion either. Fans of the genre will be satisfied with The Gray Man as a whole, which benefits from a very sustained pace, multiple settings and impressive fight and chase sequences.
It must be said that we owe this entertaining film to Anthony and Joe Russo, the director brothers who canned the Marvel movies Captain America and the Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Even if they don’t do lace, the Russo brothers know how to put on a great show.
With The Gray Man, they have fun with a lot of shots with drones, explosions and a good dose of special effects, even if some sting the eyes a little. Everything is done to make James Bond, Jack Ryan or even Jason Bourne pale and the Russo brothers pull out all the stops to honor their stars who are having a blast.
Winning comeback for Ryan Gosling
Even if it is far from revolutionizing the genre and lacks depth, The Gray Man is a very effective film which keeps its promises over two hours and which allows Ryan Gosling to make an explosive return to the front of the scene four years after First Man. The actor is excellent as an overtrained CIA agent and hitman with codes of honor.
Opposite him, Chris Evans also takes pleasure in the skin of this bad sociopath with a well-drawn mustache and deranged humor. Their confrontation is rather enjoyable and it is worth noting that the fight scenes are skilfully choreographed and well embodied.
But they are not the only ones to offer a nice show since Ana de Armas has here the delicious opportunity to do more than in her – already brilliant – scene of No Time To Die and gives her all in her muscular confrontations. Same thing for Dhanush, the Kollywood star, who rubs shoulders with Hollywood stars in a genre he masters.
The young Julia Butters, revelation of Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood, pulls out of the game and forms a very good duo with Ryan Gosling, even if the association anti-hero and child to protect is already seen and reviewed on the big as on the small screen.
The rest of the cast more or less does the job with the stereotypical characters assigned to them, notably Billy Bob Thornton as a recruiter and mentor, Regé-Jean Page as a shadow manipulator and Jessica Henwick as an agent torn between her principles and her ambitions.
Still, The Gray Man is very good entertainment, even if it sometimes lacks finesse and surprise. The Russo Brothers film is among the top of the baskets of recent Netflix productions – well above Red Notice – with yet the same budget (200 million dollars), the largest of all time for the platform!