The Gray Man (2022)
Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Written by: Christopher Markus, Joe Russo, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Alfre Woodard, Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, Chris Evans, Dhanush, Eme Ikwuakor, Jessica Henwick, Julia Butters, Rege?-Jean Page, Ryan Gosling, Scott Haze, Wagner Moura
Gosling goes all Bourne in a frantic actioner from the Russo brothers…..
With chunky dialogue like “007 was taken!“, The Gray Man, the new £200m action piece with a stellar cast from NETFLIX, may shoot high with ambition, but like that line uttered, is nothing more than dumb entertainment that you’ll have seen in countless spy capers – most notably from James Bond himself.
Ryan Gosling does his best Jason Bourne impression as Sierra Six, recruited from prison by Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton), he’s told in no uncertain terms “You’ll exist in the gray,” to which Six replies: “Disposable?”. hence the title of the film for us watching in case we wondering why its not called “Sierra Six”?
But 18 years later, we soon discover that Six is the unkillable hitman, a guy who can take on a room of bad guys that would even have John Wick look on with admiration, but like many before him, his latest mission, reveals that there is more than meets the eye and soon he becomes the hunted, with a fellow CIA mercenary, Lloyd Hansen, a clearly loving it Chris Evans, twirling his bad guy moustache and uttering ridiculous lines on his tail. Its DRIVE fights Captain America and he who dares….wins….!
By now after the infamous Thanos snap and more Marvel shindigs, we all know what the Russo brothers bring to the table and this film is no exception, with nine – yes NINE – action set-pieces, all trying to better each other and while we are used to Evans throwing some punches, Gosling is more than a match, even though his character never has a chance to develop as he is too busy running into the next frantic sequence.
Its nonsensical mayhem with the countless “look we are in this country” title cards becoming annoying as the run-time progresses. But when its works, it works and while the likes of Ana de Armas are left on the side-lines looking for more out of the script, its a film purely created for its two lead male stars who are relishing their roles.
Its an action film that will be hated by critics but loved by fans and if truth be told, while it offers nothing we haven’t seen before, its more enjoyable than the recent Bond flick, a long running franchise that NETFLIX from this offering, clearly are trying for a version of their own….
Its no SPYFALL, but thankfully no Quantum of Solace….
THE GRAY MAN is available to stream on NETFLIX