It’s an action movie, at times it feels like a western, but it’s more like an exponent of the spy genre, the kind that Paul Greengrass he did so well in the saga of jason bourne. Brothers Russianresponsible for four films by Marvel Studiosgo back to work for Netflix, this time as directors, to face Ryan Gosling (La La Land, two dangerous guys) vs. Chris Evans (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Snowpiercer) in a duel that promised a clash of titans and delivered nothing more than an entertaining title.
Ryan Gosling plays a CIA assassin who was recruited while serving time for an act that we will find out about later in the film. This top-secret black ops unit is made up of several “grey men” who operate in the shadows, and Court Gentry (Gosling) is one of them. Sent on a mission, he discovers that his employers are hiding something shady and seizes the opportunity to take home a medallion with a chip that contains evidence that would embarrass his own agency. Suzanne Brewer (Jessica Henwick) and Carmichael (Rege-Jean Page), their bosses, must recover that information and send the worst of the assassins to catch the rebel agent. Chris Evans, with a mustache and clothes quite close to the body, plays Lloyd Hansen, the person in charge of carrying out the hunt. In the middle, Dani Miranda (Anne of Arms), another agent, must choose a side to fight for.
Although the film complies with good action scenes and some acceptable fights between the protagonists, in which everyone develops well their interpretation of long-experienced secret agents, the film by the brothers Russian it lacks a construction on the mission itself, the motivations that move the characters, their relationships, etc. It is never very well understood what this chip has, nor is it possible to connect well with the stories of Gosling and his relationship with Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton), her former boss, and her niece, Claire, played by the girl who shocked the entire industry in once upon a time in hollywood, Julia Butters. There is a clear gap in the development of the script and the efforts seem to be put into the two or three good action scenes, which are not pure cinematography pieces either.
Both protagonists can raise the interest and raise the bar of the film in their scenes together, without a doubt Gosling and Evans on screen is quite an event, but the plot and the construction of the characters did not help these two stars to shine. The one that stands out the most is Danush, the Indian actor who will come into play spending half of the film as a character with well-defined characteristics, both in the stage display in the fight scenes and in his short dialogues. Well used. There Netflix and the Russos are looking for a spin-off.
What is wasted is Anne of Arms. Again, as it was in the last movie of james-bond. Although he appears here a lot more and his crosses with Gosling have brilliance for the setting in which they happen, it’s not that he shines or is well used. Not to mention Billy Bob Thornton. It feels like a movie that didn’t have enough development time when it comes to books or characters. The chemistry between the characters and the action scenes are what should save the movie, but without a good story, nothing makes sense. The directors don’t look the same as they did Captain America: The Winter Soldierstill the best movie in all of Marvel Studios.
The Russian team up again with the writers Christopher Marcus Y Stephen McFeelythe person responsible for the best MCU titles in which the characters had a clear development (and in Avengers: Endgame there were quite a few). It didn’t happen here. $200 million was spent on a 2 hour movie just to release an entertaining piece. Far from the great spy titles like jason bourne either james-bond, The Gray Man it barely manages to be an event remembered for its figures. And in the best of cases, it makes us think of Ethan Hunt who, luckily, will return next year with his mission impossible 7.
the gray man premieres in Netflix on July 22.