I think that you already know what kind of a movie The Gray Man is. A generic action movie updated to today’s standards with all the bells and whistles. Although I must admit I thought that the budget was $100 or $150 million and not $200 million. I mean, you can clearly see where some of that money went but I was expecting much more. Nevertheless, this is a fun romp that will keep you entertained for two hours. Just think of it as a funnier version of Jason Bourne movies.
Ryan Gosling was excellent as Six along with Chris Evans who plays a bad guy for a change. I also loved seeing Callan Mulvey and Ana de Armas, who brought a bit of authenticity to the atmosphere. And yes, in case you’re wondering that’s really Wagner Moura of his Elite Squad and Narcos glory. So, the cast was pretty solid but the script was quite mediocre. It turns out that it’s more difficult to come up with a clever line than to shoot half of Prague. Ahhh, the days of all those clever eighties and nineties action movies are long gone.
At least we will travel all across the world trying to outrun the assassins and save a little girl. In that sense, you can say that The Gray Man is much more similar to the Mission Impossible franchise. We hit every cliched action scene imaginable from jumping out of flaming planes to shootouts in the middle of the city. There’s really not much to say about The Gray Man apart from that it’s worth watching. You can also tell they’re setting it up for a franchise, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
Six is a former convict now working for a special unit who does the dirty work for the CIA. He finds himself in Thailand and after successfully completing his mission, his target gives him a USB drive. He says that it proves that the entire unit is corrupt and that they’re going to kill him next. And this is where things start to get complicated.
Since The Gray Man is a Netflix production I think we were lucky this time. For example, Red Notice is a similarly generic action movie but it was just too annoying for me to recommend it. And I’m not even going to talk about 6 Underground, an abysmal movie made by the military-industrial complex. Extraction is proof that if you work really hard and are not willing to make any compromises you can end up with a phenomenal movie.
I just want to add that you shouldn’t expect any kind of realistic action here. The Gray Man is an over-the-top movie featuring unbelievable shootouts where people survive all kinds of shit. However, this is not the reason why we watch these movies. We watch them to forget about the late-stage capitalism and tribal system of values slowly but surely grinding us out of existence. So, why not have a little fun and forget about your existential crisis for two hours?
Finally, you shouldn’t confuse The Gray Man 2022 with The Gray Man 2007. For the life of me I couldn’t understand why they had to use this generic title. The Gray Man 2007 is a movie based on true events surrounding the gruesome life of one of the most notorious serial killers that ever lived, Albert Fish. It’s a television movie but a damn fine one and I recommend you check it out.
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writers: Joe Russo, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, Jessica Henwick, Dhanush
Fun Facts: All the lines Evans and Gosling exchange when they first meet are completely improvised.