Netflix’s biggest movie to date, The Gray Man, has arrived in select theaters and will be available on Netflix Friday, July 22. Is the $200 million project worth a watch? Let’s dive in.
The Gray Man follows CIA operative Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling) was once a highly-skilled agent, but now the tables have turned, and he is being hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a former cohort in the CIA who will stop at nothing to take him out.
Where do I start? You have a massive budget, huge movie stars, and a duo directing the film that has juggled both well in past projects. So, the real question is, where did it go wrong? Well, the film’s script is a complete mess.
You have two routes you can go with an action movie of this caliber. First, you can go full-blown trash blockbuster with just non-stop razzle-dazzle for two straight hours with a script that doesn’t make sense. Or, you can give the film some heart with a great foundation and sprinkle the razzle-dazzle throughout. Unfortunately, the one thing you CAN’T do is attempt to do the latter without great foundation, and that’s where The Russo Brothers got this entire film wrong.
If you put 50 people in a theater and played The Gray Man and didn’t tell them who made it, I would be willing to bet 80% would say Michael Bay. Now Bay has had a history of ups and downs within the Action movie space. But Bay recently reminded us he is the king of Actions films with Ambulance. The movie with that perfect blend of script and action, but what’s even crazier is the budget for Ambulance was $40 million vs. the $200 million for The Gray Man, and Ambulance is top to bottom a far better film.
While not very clever, The Gray Man on Netflix is a fun movie
Back to the script, the flashbacks are okay, but honestly could’ve done without them because it made our journey slightly more messy than I liked. No matter how hard The Russo Brothers try, you never feel connected to anyone’s arc in the film, which is fine, but they wanted to make you care and failed. It never goes full-blown trash blockbuster which is sad because it would’ve been better.
Alright, I did like some things from the movie, and I’ll start with Ryan Gosling. Gosling can elevate his character in a way that, no matter the film, you are invested in his arc. What I loved the most about him in the role of Six is that he was the most uncharismatic protagonist ever, yet you get so much charm out of the part. Six and Claire’s relationship is the film’s sole emotional sweet spot for me in the movie. Claire was played by Julia Butters, who is most recently known for her role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, where she was lights out opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.
Another highlight from the movie was Chris Evans. He played Lloyd, a sleazy scumbag of a villain, which Evans perfected because it looked like he was having the time of his life in the part. I loved Evans in this role and wouldn’t hate seeing more like this out of him.
Overall, I had fun with The Gray Man, and I think that most of the general public who watch the movie will like it. It doesn’t have the best story structure, but when Ken from Barbie is going head to head with Captain America for almost two hours, who cares about the story amirite? It’ll be easy to shut your brain off for two hours and enjoy the ride type of movie.
The Gray Man is in select theaters now and hits Netflix on Friday, July 22.