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The Gray Man (Film Review)

4 min read

(Film Review): The Russo Brothers have definitely been the directors that after working on movies have gained the most attraction. Joe and exploded onto the scene with : The and followed that up with , : and Avengers: so it is pretty clear to say that they have excelled in creating superhero blockbusters. However, when they followed up with the incredibly divisive Cherry (starring ), many were sceptical about their next movie. But, The Gray Man can certainly put those sceptics to sleep as it is a terrific action flick!

The Gray Man follows Sierra Six (, ),a highly skilled former CIA Operative who was once the agency's best merchant of death. After his escape from prison, and recruitment by former handler Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton), Gentry is now on the run from the CIA with agent Lloyd Hansen (Captain America: , ) hot on his trail. Aided by agent Miranda (Knives Out, ), Hansen will stop at nothing to bring Six down.

With a fairly simple premise and quick set-up, The Gray Man cuts straight to the chase and throws you into this insane world of espionage and spies. The film is relentlessly tense as it runs at the speed of a freight train and doesn't let up within its two hour runtime. There is never a dull moment as the Russos always keep the film rolling and know when there needs to be breathing room and to balance it with an insane action sequence that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible.

The Gray Man

The action is also visceral and intense. There are two moments in particular in the film where everything is dialled up to one hundred and delivers on loud, bombastic . The first is a sequence fairly early on in the film on a plane and the second being a shootout in Vienna (both sequences are teased in the trailer). The choreography is fantastic as you feel every punch and gunshot, using it as a great way to immerse audiences into the film.

But, the main reason everyone is here, is for the cast. Ryan Gosling absolutely nails the action hero stereotype as he acts as a machine when fighting enemies; just mowing down everyone in his way left and right. While he may not become a classic action hero, he excels in this story and fits The Gray Man perfectly. Accompanying Gosling's Six is Ana de Armas and she is great here. If you liked her brief moment in No Time to Die then you will love her in this as it is fairly similar and she is given a lot more to do.

In the supporting cast there is Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan), (: Resurrections) and Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton) but while they have a nice presence, they aren't given that much to do compared the heavy hitters in the cast.

However, the major scene stealer in the film is Chris Evans' psychotic Lloyd Hansen. Evans chews up every scene he is in and adds some twisted comedy to even out the tone. It is clear Evans is having a blast as Lloyd and can hold his own against the rest of the cast. In the action sequences, he is an intimidating villain, creating stakes for Six and Miranda.

The Gray Man

 

Yet as much as The Gray Man nails virtually everything, when it comes to the globetrotting I do think took that idea to the extreme. The film jumps between London, America, Bangkok, Azerbaijan, Vienna, Croatia and many others to the point where it becomes a tad jarring and hard to keep up with. This is very apparent when it unnecessarily jumps between countries and could be scaled down just a bit for the story that the Russos are telling.

Nevertheless, the Russo Brothers are back to their top status in the big, bombastic action-adventure flick that is The Gray Man. Its frantic pacing works to keep the film moving while Gosling leads the film in such a fun way. Ana de Armas is a fun addition to the film but Evans' unhinged performance is one for the ages and will go down as an over-the-top action bad guy. Some of the constant globetrotting could've been smoothed out while the lack of Jessica Henwick's character is disappointing but when it comes to action movies in the 21st century, this is up there as one of the best.

The Gray Man is in select now and will be available worldwide on on July 22nd