The Gray Man is a high-octane action film that has everything you might expect from a big-budget blockbuster. Ryan Gosling, who portrays the title anti-hero in the grimy film Drive (2011), is a hired killer with a good heart. Meanwhile, Chris Evans and Ana de Armas from Knives Out meet for another battle of wits and combat.
The Gray Man isn’t a film with an inquisitive spy plot or compelling narrative. The driving force of the film is simple fast-paced action sequences against beautiful backdrops. One scene, in particular, features Tamil actor Dhanush who is pitted against Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas to deliver our money’s worth.
If Evans and Gosling were to share any substantial screen time, it would have turned out to be an immensely entertaining movie. Even the two short sequences where the duo share screen keeps the audience at the edge of their seats. Unfortunately, Evans spends most of The Gray Man in a control room supervising other people’s attempts to murder Six and frequently yelling at other characters over the radio.
Ana de Armas is another exciting addition to the cast but her character lacks any personality beyond the expected super-badassness. Her character often felt like a side piece that was brought on the screen to simply assist other characters from point A to point B.
The Gray Man, as one should expect, is devoid of any original ideas which makes its plot fairly predictable. The film contains every element of a formulaic spy film. A kidnapped hostage, classified files on a drive, a rogue agent and a corrupted system. Realism isn’t what one expects when you watch an action film, but The Gray Man pushes the logical boundaries even further to make certain sequences seem hysterically comical.
The Russo Brothers, who have overseen four major blockbusters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Avengers: Endgame, were given the reins of the espionage action thriller movie which boasts cost Netflix a whopping $200 million budget.
The Gray Man is based on Mark Greaney’s #1 New York Times bestseller book series of the same name. So as expected, The Gray Man will be getting a sequel with Ryan Gosling returning as Sierra Six and The Russo Brothers returning for direction as well. Along with the sequel, a spinoff film has been greenlighted by the streaming giant as well. Seems clear that Netflix has left no stone left unturned to create The Gray Man franchise.
Final Verdict: 3.2 stars (out of 5)