Nutshell Review: The Gray Man
PG Score: 6.75/10
The Gray Man is available on Netflix.
Directed by the Russo Brothers (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame), The Gray Man is your typical spy thriller filled with wall-to-wall action. The movie starts in 5th gear and does a good job of staying in 5th gear throughout, speeding through the two hour plus run time.
Good, But Nothing New
Amazing sets and locations, combined with incredible fight and chase scenes, help elevate Gray Man in the overly saturated genre. But other than the fight scenes, nothing truly stands out. There's no groundbreaking cinematography and they seem to rely more on the star power of Ryan Gosling (Remember the Titans) as Six and Chris Evans (Push) as the main antagonist, Lloyd.
The story for Gray Man is straightforward with very few surprises. Spy on the run from a government organization he worked for. They have unlimited reach. Coverups and kidnappings, one person searches for the truth while the other is doing their best to cover up its deep dark secrets. Influenced heavily by franchises such as Bond, Bourne, and Mission: Impossible, Gray Man doesn't do enough to separate itself or set itself apart from its predecessors.
Gosling and Evans contrast nicely as characters. Where Gosling plays it pretty straight, it is Evans who has the most to work with as he really gets into playing the villain. Boisterous and loud with sociopathic tendencies, Lloyd and Gosling's 6 play well off one another in their battle of wills in who is the better killer.
Supporting these two are Billy Bob Thornton (Armageddon) as Six's mentor, Ana de Armas (Knives Out) as the spy caught in the middle of doing what is right and doing her job for the organization she works for. Jessica Henwick (Matrix Resurrections) plays a very different role than usual, avoiding her martial arts skills, and is more of a behind-the-scenes character working to bring Six down. Last but not least is Rege-Jean Page (Bridgerton) as the slimy CIA director Denny Carmichael, who comes across as the over-the-top director who won't let anything get in his way, who is also behind the story unfolding.
Not A Must-See
Great fights and action sequences help keep the film fun but it comes with an average story that doesn't have a lot of believability behind it. Gray Man depends mostly on the star power of Gosling, Evans, and de Armas to carry the film. No new ground is broken and all we as viewers end up with is a fun action flick. It's on Netflix so it won't cost you a movie ticket to watch it, and seeing Evans as the villain may make you want to tune in. Or maybe his mustache will. You're not missing out on anything if you skip this one, so I will leave it up to you if it is worth your time.