Taking a step away from the Marvel universe, Anthony and Joe Russo are back in the land of huge budgets and even bigger explosions and action packed chaos in The Gray Man which can now ben seen on Netflix and was or is in selected cinema auditoriums. Whilst I watched The Gray Man on a large 60 inch TV screen and turned up loud. I cant help feel that this film would have been even better on a cinema screen with its sound mix booming out of speakers around the room, but aside from that, I had a blast watching this film in the way I watched it.
Ryan Gosling plays Court Gentry, who is released from a long term prison sentence as long as he takes up the job of a secret CIA operative under the control of Donald Fitzroy (played by Billy Bob Thornton) and helps make the world a better place. During one of their missions, things go wrong and elements within the US government employ the services of Lloyd Hansen (played by Chris Evans) to hunt down Court and retrieve something important that they think Court has with him, that’s pretty much all you need to know about the storyline. This is high budget filmmaking a its flashiest. I lost count of the amount of bullets that were fired, cars that are wrecked and explosions that go off. To say that The Gray Man is action packed is a huge understatement and whilst its some scenes might be a little flashier than perhaps need to be, the film is visually impressive and the action scenes do remind you of much of the John Wick series. Pure popcorn fun is to be had with The Gray Man and whilst I have seen some reviews that are less than praiseworthy for the film and compare it to some other action franchises, I don’t think that the Russo’s had any intention of trying to make this film the most original action film ever, and that’s okay. I like many action film formulas, car chases, sniper shoot outs, shattering window pains and hand to hand and knife to hand fight scenes, they are a comfort blanket to action fans who want to just escape into the film they are watching. So for me, I had a blast watching The Gray Man and its certainly a film id recommend if you like testosterone filled motion pictures that test your surround speakers to the limit (watch it LOUD if you can)
The cast also seem to be having so much fun in the film whether its Ryan Gosling playing the James Bond/Ethan Hunt type character but with the character drama of the character he played in Nicholas Winding Refn’s ‘Drive’ or Chris Evans scenery chewing as the films most action packed villain who is so focused on his own ego and mission to wipe out pretty much everyone who gets in his way. Ana de Armas is excellent as Dani, a fellow CIA agent who thankfully gets some great action scenes within the film, although I cant tell you what they are because I don’t want to spoilt the storyline for you. The final stand out in the film is Julia Butters who plays Donald Fitzroy’s niece Claire and who is pretty much only one of the characters in the film that doesn’t wield a gun, Claire ends up right in the middle of some crazy action set pieces.
Directing wise, and to be expected, Anthony and Joe Russo handle the film wonderfully and the camera rarely stands still, there is some very cool drone camerawork in the film and whilst the drone camerawork doesnt quite match up to Michael Bay’s Ambulance, it does come pretty close and keeps the film moving at a hell of a pace. (there is also a fun accidental shot im sure, where a man looks at the drone camera before getting the hell out of his way before it would have hit him (its at a scene involving a hospital if you want to keep an eye out for it)
So The Gray Man kept me very well entertained this afternoon and whilst Im sure that there will be many negative reviews about the film (which is always the case nowadays, well unless you are the amazing Top Gun Maverick of course) I wanted to put down my thoughts and my recommendation that you do check out The Gray Man if you want some explosive fun,