Ryn Gosling as Court Gentry
Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen
Dhanush as Avik San
Ana de Armas as Dani Miranda
Jessica Henwick as Suzanne Brewer
Regé-Jean Page as Denny Carmichael
Julia Butters as Claire Fitzroy
Billy Bob Thornton as Donald Fitzroy
Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Joe Russo
Stephen F. Windon
Writer (novel)
Mark Greaney
Jeff Groth, Pietro Scalia
Henry Jackman

Gosling has yet to portray a superhero, but he goes closer than ever before in the action flick “The Gray Man,” which is directed by the same team behind “Avengers: Endgame.” Because of this, it’s logical that Gosling and Netflix would agree to adapt the Mark Greaney novel for the sake of launching a new super story franchise of their own. Yet Netflix’s lack of creative supervision over these productions is becoming more apparent, as the streaming giant just lets artists gallop off along with their money without worrying about what they offer. Isn’t it obvious that this is what the algorithm is looking for? It’s expected that “The Gray Man” will be seen by millions of people. They won’t be able to recall anything significant about it in a few days. Even if “The Gray Man” is only the beginning of a larger series, it would be nice if the character had greater depth in subsequent films.

After being released from jail, the star of both “La La Land” and “Drive” takes up the role of a spy labelled Sierra Six (“007 was reserved”) (Billy Bob Thornton). With a straight introduction, “The Gray Man” gets right into the action, with Six being charged by his new boss, Denny Carmichael (Regé-Jean Page), with eliminating a target who ultimately turned out to be a fellow secret agent in the field. The dying man informs Six that Denny is a criminal before delivering him the evidence to support his claim. As soon as the film begins, our virtuous hero is on the run, without having had a chance to build any meaningful character. For crisp, perfect action films such as those in the “John Wick” series, a blank protagonist is acceptable, but this isn’t even close to being that tight of a production.

Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a former CIA black operations mercenary who perhaps works in the private sector in which there are even less restrictions governing things such as torturing or mistreatments etc is called in by Carmichael as Six goes on the run. It will take whatever Hansen can think of to attract Six’s attention, even if it means abducting Fitzroy’s daughter Claire (Julia Butters). Six has a history with Claire, having served as a watchdog for her a few years before. He’s the spy who cares about children’s lives, unlike Hansen, who is a psychopath. Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) joins Six on his journey to escape as another spy. Yet, believe it or not, she is given even less character delineation than her male colleagues, which may surprise some people.

And here, for the next two hours, we’re done. Things go boom when there’s a good person vs a bad guy, a lady in the midst, and a youngster in danger. However, although some of the fighting portions are well-executed, much of the picture is filmed in such a weirdly low light that it diminishes even the magnetic screen presence of the unquestionably charming Gosling, Evans and de Armas.

The low-light palette pattern followed in this film would be appropriate for the majority of an international action film deserving a cinematic prison term. A new Fast & Furious or Bourne series, “The Gray Man” should be outrageously over-the-top, but other than an amusing Evans, it all seems so thematically uninteresting. As a piece of cracker entertainment, it frequently fails to mention that this type of endeavour must be lighthearted.

Evans is a concern since he’s never presented as a serious danger. An asset removal gone horribly wrong, an article’s title error, will be taught in schools as a cautionary tale. In truth, he seems to be terrible at his job. Rather than a contest of wills, this is a contest between an ethical spy and an insane spy. Although the script by Joe Russo, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely tends to keep attempting to peddle us on Hansen being such a dreadful genius and there’s really no evidence of the latter part, there’s something least developed in the conception that Gosling is the old-fashioned spy and Evans is the brute force advanced monster.

In his second outing in Hollywood, Actor Dhanush makes a splash. An extended battle sequence with Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling gives him the opportunity to show off his fighting talents. Dhanush has a lot of screen time, yet he barely gets a few words to utter during those moments. This is understandable, given that spies, at least in the traditional sense, are expected to go above and beyond what they are paid to accomplish. Avik, by Dhanush, accomplishes just that. He’s also the only character in the film with what seems to be a solid moral compass, as Russos demonstrate early on by having him touch a rudraksh mala, a religious amulet.

It feels like “The Gray Man” is afraid to take a real risk, like plenty of original content on streaming services. With its current commitment of $200 million on a film, would Netflix ever be able to produce a movie on par with [‘Mission: Impossible, Mad Max: Fury Road, John Wick, or even Fast Five? ] In the event that anything similar does place, there could be a need for a real-life superhero.

Now streaming on NETFLIX

Rating: 2.5/5