The Gray Man Movie Review: Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling's Bulging Biceps Are High On Gusto, But It's Written All Over It
Star Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Dhanush, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, Regé-Jean Page, and ensemble.
Director: Joe Russo & Anthony Russo (The Russo Brothers)
What's Great: Chris Evans is a riot, and Ana de Armas is a goddess. Also, these have to be the finest opening sequences I've seen in a long time. Did I mention Ryan Gosling's sexiness?
What's Bad: How cliché everything becomes, and how the product as a whole fails to match up to the wonderful introductions.
Loo Break: Not in the first half, but when the film embarks on a globe trip, some of which is extremely unnecessary, that's your cue to leave.
Watch or not to watch: Only for Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Ryan Gosling, and Dhanush. The group effort and the efforts to make it appear exciting.
Language: English (with subtitles).
Available On: Netflix.
Runtime: 122 Minutes
So The Gray Man is a group of ghost assassins who were previously high-level criminals imprisoned and educated by the government to carry out jobs that the law cannot. When one of the aforementioned Gray Man Six (Ryan) realises he has been duped, he vows to decode the entire game, and so the search starts.
The Gray Man Movie Review: Script Analysis
Russo Brothers have developed a unique selling point. The two find excitement in crafting storylines in which the villain does not necessarily exist beforehand, but is generated out of events that may occur in the plot as the film is being made. No one was a villain in Captain America: Civil War; instead, individuals were fighting to protect their ideas. In the Endgame/Infinity Saga, Thanos never had a selfish hunger to fill his coffers, but his ideology was to make the world a better place.
Even Extraction had characters that were conflicted, and this is how they shaped their storylines. There is no total black or white, only plenty of grey, and they like playing in that zone. Making former friends fight each other and putting them in situations where they have no option. The Gray Guy is another addition in which the plot is turned on its head and a man is pitted against those he formerly considered allies.
The film now begins magnificently, with a script by Joe, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely, based from Mark Greaney's novel. Consider the introductions. Every crucial figure is introduced with such flair that the anticipation for what is to come skyrockets. I'm not joking. These might be some of the greatest opening moments in a long time.
However, what follows is a string of film clichés that we have grown tired of seeing in recent years. When you cast one individual against a whole system, the audience is now savvy enough to see through your film if it mimics the past few films they've watched. It's not like it's a master's duty to foretell what's going to happen when a bright guy is caught in a circumstance where death looms on the other side. You must either give him a stunning twist or a never-before-seen escape strategy. However, the Russos revert to the status quo. As you can see from the beginning, the CIA is the vilain.
Add to it the number of locations visited in this film. In less than two hours, including the credit roll. Bangkok, Azerbaijan, Monaco, Chiang Mai, Turkey, London, Vienna, Berlin, Croatia, Prague, Washington DC, and Virginia are all included in the film. I wouldn't be shocked if I overlooked several locations. They appear to have visited every country that may have granted them a visa.
Apart from a spectacular street and train fight, and one involving Dhanush and Ryan Gosling with Ana de Armas, no other path that leads to action appears new. But how come super-trained policemen in a merciless organisation can't shoot a single bullet in the appropriate direction? At one point, Gosling is right in the middle of a scene with bullets showering down on him, only to be stabbed by a flawless Dhanush in a single effort!
The Gray Man Movie Review: Star Performance
Ryan Gosling is a master at seduction. Other from his devious smile, he doesn't have to do much to light up the screen. The actor adds arrogance to this and makes Six his own. Though the storyline just requires him to escape from one trap to the next without allowing his psychology to take centre stage, he does an excellent job.
Chris Evans is the clear winner here, as he plays yet another villain with conviction following the excellent Knives Out! Now, I realise this is the most ridiculous, outlandish, and high on'something' villain who is bloodthirsty and vicious. However, see how the performer sells it and ensures that you purchase it without complaint. The highly fitting garments with little room for air, a velvet pair of shoes with no socks, and a strange moustache make it something to dread rather than laugh at. That is what must be admired.
Also, Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans engage in hand-to-hand fighting because what was the point of the film if not this showdown? Even though I predicted it in the first 10 minutes, I was fascinated when it happened 2 hours later.
Ana de Armas is both a Goddess and a young man! She can punch and act so good at the same time. She even outpowers the males in several combat sequences, and we need more of her on the big screen.
Dhanush is doing an excellent job for us. He isn't written like another Asian in a big-budget Hollywood film. His character has complexities, and he has the ability to alter the plot. Even he gets some action sequences that are enjoyable. If there is a part 2, the actor will have a significantly larger role. And I'm hoping for a positive move there.
The Gray Man Movie Review: The Last Word
In this mathematical equation of a film, if there is one positive, one bad balances it out immediately. While each is at its best on its own, the screenplay fails to integrate it all into a sophisticated result.
The Gray Man Movie Review: Direction, Music
Every time, the Russo Brothers raise the bar in terms of action direction. Remember the action sequence in Extraction with Chris Hemsworth and Randeep Hooda that looked like a video game but was actually shot with them performing it rather than using CGI? There are a lot of fascinating ones here as well.
However, as directors, they neglect to focus their attention on emotions when there is a lot of action going on. For example, if your film contains 80% action, there must be a balance. There are people with storylines that may generate a lot of drama, but we never get time to understand their internal fights since everyone on the screen is always moving.
Music and cinematography are two of her strong suits that deserve recognition. However, the logistics crew must have had a nightmare. They may have had many globe tours as part of the same enterprise.