Gosling & Evans deliver a fun action franchise starter

Netflix’s latest attempt at the action movie blockbuster is the gray manwhich is based on Mark Greaney’s 2009 spy thriller novel the gray man, directors Anthony and Joe Russo are once again teaming up with a few of their Marvel Cinematic Universe collaborators, including writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, as well as Captain America himself Chris Evans. For their second directorial effort since shutting down the MCU’s Phase 3 with: Avengers: EndgameThe Russos gathered a star-studded cast: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, and Dhanush. the gray man is a spiritual return to action movies from the 80s and 90s, with heart-pounding fight scenes, deliciously cheap dialogue and an insanely fun villain.

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In the gray manGosling stars as action hero Sierra Six, a member of a secretive team within the CIA made up of former criminals recruited by Donald Fitzroy (Thornton) to kill off the books. When Six is ​​called in by the CIA’s Denny Carmichael (Page) to take out a target, the mission turns out to be more complicated than expected. Forced to flee, Six leaves Carmichael to enlist psychopathic mercenary Lloyd Hansen (Evans). Six favors from old friends like former CIA ally Margaret Cahill (Alfre Woodard), and get help from CIA agent Dani Miranda (the Armas) to survive all the killers Hansen summons to hunt him, including the formidable Avik San ( Dhanush). Although Six is ​​one of the CIA’s best, it remains to be seen whether he will be able to escape the situation with his life and save Fitzroy’s niece Claire (Julia Butters).

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Chris Evans and Jessica Henwick in The Gray Man

The story of the gray man, as adapted by Markus and McFeely, is a bit complex, and the film obscures much of the CIA politics surrounding the Sierra program, focusing instead on the action sequences and developing the personalities of its characters—particularly Gosling’s Six and Evans’ Lloyd. The script itself is chock full of cheap jokes, including, but not limited to, a comment about Gosling looking like a Ken doll and an order to “kill him.” These all come with just the right amount of panache by Evans, who is devilishly electric as the sociopathic villain. Gosling’s Six balances Lloyd’s outrageous personality with a more stoic and smooth action hero, but he’s no less entertaining. When Gosling and Evans go head-to-head – with swearing or fists – it’s even the most exciting scenes in the gray man† The Russos knew what they were doing when they cast Evans and Gosling, and the actors deftly deliver performances that feel deliberately ironic rather than overly grim.

Beyond Gosling and Evans, the gray man has an excellent supporting cast, helping to deliver the suspenseful action and personality that make the film so entertaining. The supporting cast doesn’t get nearly as much to work with, but they all do well with what they’ve got. The Armas brings some depth to Dani as she teams up with Gosling’s Six, and certainly proves her action chops after being underused in No time to die† Thornton, Woodard, and Butters are usable in their supporting roles, but don’t necessarily outshine the stars. Dhanush, on the other hand, is a standout in the gray man† Although he has a small part, his character is fiercely brutal and proves to be an intimidating enemy to Six. His on-screen presence is such that Dhanush’s action scenes are among the best in the film. However, if there are victims of the gray man script, it’s Page as Denny and Jessica Henwick as Suzanne, both of whom fail to strike the right tone for the film and who get no help from their own ridiculous dialogue.


All in all, the Russo brothers deliver a thrilling summer popcorn movie featuring the gray man that is reinforced by the charismatic performances of Gosling and Evans. In terms of Netflix releases, the movie is akin to 6 Underground and Red Notice — both are anchored by Ryan Reynolds – and have similar sensibilities in terms of a world-wide action/adventure film, but with a focus on espionage. Moreover, the gray man doesn’t rely on Reynolds’ particular kind of humor, but instead capitalizes on Gosling’s and Evans’ various comedy strengths. While Netflix viewers may have their own opinion, the gray man feels like a step above the streamer’s previous action movies, with more exciting fight scenes, more intrusive humor, and a more entertaining movie experience.

As such, the gray man is definitely worth checking out for anyone remotely interested in the story, cast, or filmmakers. Due to the superbly executed action scenes, those who are able would do well to watch the gray man in theaters because it heightens the experience. In any case, it is a must to watch the gray man on the largest screen possible, even for those watching the movie after its streaming release on Netflix. Between the Russos behind the camera and the talent in front of it, the gray man is a fun and exciting action thriller. It might be in the vein of cheap 80s and 90s action movies, but that makes the gray man all the more fun and rewatchable.

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the gray man releases in limited theaters on Friday, July 15, followed by a Netflix streaming release on Friday, July 22. The film is 129 minutes long and rated PG-13 for intense sequences of strong violence and strong language.

Our rating:

3.5 out of 5 (very good)

  • The Gray Man (2022)Release date: July 15, 2022

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