This review contains spoilers.
As with almost every Netflix Original, this was either bound to be a surprise hit, a complete failure, or a relatively quiet film. Somehow, this movie was none of the above. It was a moderate hit amongst the general public, yet average for movie critics.
Directed by the Russo brothers, the all-famous directors of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame,” this film had much action. Honestly, it felt that there were too many explosions and too much action at times. Rather than a movie from the Russo brothers, it felt like a Michael Bay film. Thankfully, it wasn’t, but the star-studded cast ensured that the entirety of the action was valuable and creative.
“The Gray Man” featured Ryan Gosling as the protagonist Six, Chris Evans as the antagonist Lloyd Hansen, and supporting actors Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, Regé-Jean Page and Dhanush.
The story starts in 2003, with a CIA official named Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) visiting Six, a prisoner at the time, in an interrogation room. Six had gone to prison for killing his abusive father. Fitzroy offered Six freedom in exchange for becoming an assassin in the CIA Sierra program.
Many years later, Six had to hunt down another assassin called Four in the Sierra program. The mission confused him, and he wanted to get to the bottom of the mystery. At the same time, Lloyd Hansen hunted him down at the request of the CIA due to Six’s dangerous nature. Simultaneously, Six had to rescue Fitzroy and Fitzroy’s niece from Hansen’s base with Agent Dani Miranda (de Armas), who turned against the CIA. He also fought against the mercenary Lone Wolf (Dhanush), who eventually decided to help Six and Agent Miranda succeed. In the end, Six surrendered after killing Hansen while Agent Miranda made a deal with the CIA.
This movie didn’t have any breaks in between the action to breathe. If you went to the bathroom, you would miss an important scene. There was no love tragedy, no useless dialogues — and no story whatsoever. The entire movie was just a compilation of action scenes over a mediocre script.
However, the movie did flow smoothly, and the Russo brothers did an excellent job ensuring that the audience could understand and enjoy the film. While I am upset that there wasn’t much of an emotional build-up to the characters, it was at least explicit who the “good guys” and “bad guys” are. The action scenes completely masked any sign of poor storytelling because the entire film was simply building up to the point where Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling fought each other directly. The Russo brothers made the movie with the audience in mind because while it is entertaining, critics technically cannot give this a fantastic review.
I do not think that this movie was terrible, but it certainly wasn’t one of the best I’ve ever seen. I hope for much better from the Russo brothers, so I am still excited about this film’s sequel(s). If you are looking not to be bored and you have Netflix, this is the movie for you.