‘The Gray Man’ is a banal action movie with stereotypical distractions – North Texas Daily

After directing two of the most successful films of all time, Anthony and Joe Russo have teamed up with Netflix to tell their new action-packed story. “The Gray Man” is packed with over-the-top action. However, you can’t help but notice its ability to hit the same beats as other beloved movies in the genre.

There are huge parts of the film that revolve around the performances of the main actors. A bloated running time and a lack of story, said story mostly consisting of guys with guns, can drive viewers away. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, but don’t expect it to improve the way audiences see action movies either.

In a classic game of cat and mouse, animals are replaced by Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. Six, Gosling’s character, is on the run after disobeying CIA orders. When it becomes impossible to apprehend Six, Evans’ character Lloyd Hansen is sent to end the madness by any means necessary. As one can imagine, nothing but pure chaos ensues once the ball is thrown.

Action movies aren’t known for character work, which is a good thing in this movie’s case. If it hadn’t been for the credits after the film, remembering the names of these characters would be more difficult than an evening of math questions. Nothing is presented for the audience to connect or care about these characters.

Gosling and Evans are the two stars. Gosling’s character is cold and gives the same reaction to everything that happens throughout the film. Evans is definitely not the shield-wielding captain many are familiar with from that movie. He is completely unhinged and his extravagant behavior does not match the tone of the film at all.

Speaking of tone, this would have been a great opportunity for the Russo Brothers to show just how campy they can be. With a villain as disturbing as Evans and a protagonist as indestructible as Six, there was a window wide open to make this one of the wackiest action films ever made. It sometimes gets so unbalanced that it’s hard to tell what the movie is for.

Six survives so many near-death experiences that Michael Myers only needs to ask for another suit. Anything grounded in realism was completely ignored for this film. What viewers get is a typical, dependable action movie, but it doesn’t try anything new to separate itself from the rest.

Not everything is bad. While sometimes impossible to keep up with, the action sequences are a lot of fun. Everyone involved worked very hard to put together this film.

In comparison to recent blockbusters, at least “The Gray Man” feels like a real movie. There’s a nightclub scene at the start of the movie that plays with colored lighting and it was easily the best part of the whole movie.

There are stylistic choices to be a fan of. The impressive work of the drone might have gotten boring after a while, but it was still inserted in the right place. The Russo Brothers love to explode place names in bold white letters in the middle of the screen as the landscape changes. It got comical after a while, adding more to the argument that this movie should have been an absolute camp fest.

“The Gray Man” may not be the newest action flick, but it certainly stays true to the reliable action movies that came before it. Equal parts good and bad, it all comes down to what you expect from an action movie. At the end of the day, it was harmless and passable. At least three or four action movies like this come out every year, and they all blend together in a gray mess.

Pop culture fans will also be delighted to hear about the very direct reference to Gosling’s role as Ken in the upcoming “Barbie” movie. A reference to “Barbie” being the most entertaining part of this movie sums up everything you need to know to get in.

Rating by Jaden: 3/5

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