AGGRESSIVELY mediocre: this is the only way to describe The gray manNetflix’s latest blockbuster action movie.
Based on a 2009 novel by Mark Greaney, The gray man sees CIA killer Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling) on the run after coming into contact with a storage device containing corruption information behind a senior CIA official.
To hunt Six effectively, the CIA contracts ex-agent-turned-mercenary Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans).
Due to Hansen’s true madness, Six is forced to go through several near-death situations that leave countless more dead.
Honestly, The gray man it’s the kind of movie you watch on television at a family reunion, so your uncle from the Steven Seagal era of action movies straight to DVD sits silently and watches it, instead of annoying everyone else with the his embarrassing “jokes”.
On the power of the stars
It’s surprising how the film was made by the same team behind the most successful Marvel Studios films. The Russo brothers directed the film, based on a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
Yet despite their experience in military action and espionage cinema, they surrendered The gray manwhich looks like a cheap action movie from a bygone era, except it was made for $ 200 million (RM 891.3 million).
Most likely much of the budget went to the Russo brothers who joined (mostly) Gosling, and the star-studded supporting cast to support him, such as Ana de Armas, and the brothers’ well-known Marvel collaborator, Chris Evans.
Fortunately, clearly expensive casting is where The gray man shines more.
Gosling mostly plays straight as the Stoic Six, which is pretty much in line with his style that has been cemented Voyage Other Only God forgives. Though he occasionally makes cheeky jokes, it’s Evans who elevates the film’s comedy.
Starting with the boy scout image of Captain America, Evans returns as the many slimy characters he used to play in the early days of his career, and completely becomes the villain who turns to porn in The gray man.
Evans has the time of his life playing Lloyd, pulling his nails out, shooting crippled men, throwing kids around and all the while looking like a sleazy adult movie director in tacky polo shirts and white pants.
Like the main protagonists, Ana’s character is also a one-dimensional spy, but her performance elevates him, especially when she starts running at full throttle, with a rocket and grenade launcher tied to her back.
If anything, his role here is a good starter for when he’s directing dancerthe John Wick spin off.
Mediocre action movie
The rest of the budget most likely went into visual effects, then set design and costumes, with the visual effects, editing, and action sequences in particular making the film affordable.
In a set involving a train, several cars, lots of bullets, some generic villains and Gosling, the visual effects (digital smoke and dust), gibberish editing, and violent shaky camera made the whole sequence painful to watch.
On another set, a plane explodes as Gosling’s character is battling several generic henchmen and good luck trying to figure out what’s going on with the camera suffering from whiplash every second.
The gray man has many action sequences. The big ones are terrible, while the smaller ones with close combat are decent, like the fight between Gosling and Ana versus Kollywood actor Dhanush.
If it’s not clear at this point, The gray man he suffers because he cannot decide what he wants to be, both in writing and in action film.
You can almost hear the film go: “We go into large-scale action like the Link movie? Or are we going for smaller action sequences like the John Wick movie? Is it an action comedy with how over-the-top Evans’ character is? Or is it a serious action movie with how many people are killed, maimed and blown up? “
The gray man it doesn’t know, because it exists in the gray area of action movies, never being a thing, because it’s a product of everything else that overlaps.