Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Wagner Moura, Jessica Henwick, Dhanush, Julia Butters, Alfre Woodard, Billy Bob Thornton, Regé-Jean Page, Eme Ikwuakor, Scott Haze, Deobia Oparei, Daz Crawford, Robert Kazinsky, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Aishwarya Sonar, Callan Mulvey
What’s The Story
When the CIA's most skilled mercenary known as Court Gentry, aka Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, he becomes a primary target and is hunted around the world by a psychopathic former colleague Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) and international assassins. Gentry is on a mission across Europe to rescue his handler and his family from Lloyd, a former cohort of Gentry’s at the CIA. Lloyd wants Gentry terminated in order to shepherd a billion-dollar oil deal in Nigeria, where the president of that country wants Gentry dead for the assassination of his brother.
Dhanush Steals The Show With His Sleek Action
Directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo have managed to come up with some of the most brilliant stunts to have been even seen onscreen. From a brilliant chase sequence on the tram in the streets of Prague to an extensive fight in the climax at a mansion in Vienna, the Russo brothers have stitched together some of the most elaborate action sequences.
Stephen F. Windon’s cinematography is the next best thing ‘The Gray Man’ has to offer. He has put to use the drone shots to perfection. Some of the most hard-to-achieve shots have been achieved through the usage of long-lens drones. To add to that some slow-motion shots amidst the action sequences just blow you away.
Among the actors, Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans have both proved to be worthy of their mammoth star images. While the story doesn’t offer too much to showcase their acting prowess, the two have definitely given in their heart and soul to perfecting the action sequences. To add to that both Gosling and Evans have an innate sense of comedy and their quick one-liners in between such heavy action sequences are sure to get you cracking.
Dhanush is the surprise package. From the moment Evans announces his entry as ‘Hello my sexy Tamil friend’, Dhanush just steals the scene whenever he is onscreen. Even though he doesn’t have too much to speak but the way he has perfected his hand-to-hand combat sequences is a treat to watch.
Jeff Groth and Pietro Scalia’s editing is crisp. They along with the Russo brothers need to be applauded for not letting the pace of the actioner dip even for a bit in the middle.
The writing by Joe Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely is the biggest low point of ‘The Gray Man’. The script is a wafer-thin layer of action sequences sewn together. The basic plot is just a one-liner, and therefore there is not too much that you can expect from the story. However, the original book ‘The Gray Man’ by Mark Greaney, from which the movie has been inspired, had a lot more intricacies in the story. A lot of the subplots and minute detailings have been skipped while writing the script for the movie, and therefore it ends up being a line-up of back-to-back action sequences.
Ana De Armas was a big let-down. Considering ‘The Gray Man’ had a lot more opportunities than ‘No Time To Die’ for her to showcase her brilliance in action, it somehow didn’t reflect onscreen. There are a couple of funny banters that she has with Evans, which are memorable, but baring aside, she is hardly making a difference to the flow of the storyline.
Besides Gosling, Evans and Dhanush, none of the other supporting cast has too much to do rather than just get beaten down.
In a slick actioner, the background score plays a great part in getting the viewer up charged-up. Sadly, the music by Henry Jackman is a downer. There is barely any memorable or catchy tune like it's there in the ‘James Bond’ or ‘Mission Impossible’ movies.
The Russo brothers are known for making ostentatious films in the Marvel universe which not many filmmakers could have handled with such finesse. With ‘The Gray Man’ they have tried to start an action franchise which may well go on to become the next ‘James Bond’ or ‘Mission Impossible’ or ‘Jason Bourne’. While the Russo brothers are experts in getting the action right, whenever the next part in the franchise comes, it would be great to see some more meat in the story. Also, Dhanush’s ‘Sexy Tamil’ gangster character needs to have a separate spin-off of its own. He simply stole the show away with such a small cameo. Overall, if you’re into action films, ‘The Gray Man’ is indeed a good One-Time Watch. I am going with 3 stars.