Action/Thriller | Netflix | Runtime: 122m | Rating: PG-13
Directed By: Anthony & Joe Russo
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, Dhanush, Jessica Henwick, Alfre Woodard, Wagner Moura
Synopsis: When the CIA needs a mission completed off-the-books, they turn to a small group of operatives known as Gray Men. When the most skilled of the group, Sierra Six, accidentally uncovers a sleuth of agency secrets, another psychopathic operative of a different form is hired to acquire him and his information. Dead or alive.
The Gray Man was a delightful throwback. A remembrance to the days when big bombastic blockbuster summer films, led by A-list actors would deliver unique movies built sturdily on borrowed genre elements. Movies that deliver A+ action and spectacle that are lined with self-awareness and a charismatic sense of humor. Ryan Gosling, and Chris Evans donning a world class “trash Stache”, playing cat-and-mouse all over the world can provide all of that with an appealing gusto.
The Russo’s craft a polished espionage-themed thrill-ride filled with vibrant visuals, bold, interesting characters, and tightly crafted action that results in a globetrotting saga of over-the-top insanity. Sure, The Gray Man is founded on layers we’ve seen used plenty of times. But it’s competently done. The movie is having fun with itself and in turn you naturally have fun with it. Gosling and Evans are more than just familiar faces in Hollywood. Yet in these roles they’re able to deliver something to the screen that we haven’t seen from them, and it makes the movie so much more engaging because of your curiosity to see what they will do next in this story filled with a string of climatic and suspenseful situations.
Gosling looks like he was made for the action genre. Evans has never been sleazier and he’s as amazing as you would hope he would be in this sadistic role. Armas cements them all with a great performance as well, and as you would expect they look fantastic working through the gritty fight-choreography. The Gray Man does feel its runtime in spots. But these slow moments don’t hinder the pace much at all and these lulls certainly don’t get in the way of the appeal this adrenaline pumping ride takes you on.
Movies are meant to take you away to another time and place. Action movies are intended to have you on edge and feeling the intensity of the violence. The Gray Man showcases all of that and more. As soon as this movie starts you are pulled into the tone and atmosphere of this spy world and its mindless engagement at its best. This movie knows what it is and what it wants to be and it’s easily as big and climactic as a movie can get on the streaming market. The Gray Man was everything Red Notice wanted to be, but good enough to overcome its slight weaknesses and certainly worth checking out.
Anthony J. Digioia II © 2022 SilverScreen Analysis. All Rights Reserved.