Director: The Russo Brothers

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans

Year: 2022

One of the better films of 2022 (almost despite itself),  The Gray Man is a bit James Bond, a bit Drive, a bit Man on Fire, and a bit The Nice Guys, a sometimes-funny, always-rocking shoot-em-up movie that at least entertains.  It’s an odd combination of a hundred action thrillers you’ve seen before, complete with safe houses, alpha teams, revenge tales, back stories, angry cell phone calls, high powered weaponry, and all the stab wounds you can endure.  A Netflix original that finally feels less like TV and more like cinema (albeit silly cinema), Gray Man is a breath of fresh air and a killer good time.

Code named ‘Six’, this shadow agent has been saved from a life in jail, trained to kill, and let loose on America’s enemies.  He is deadly, disposable, and hardly exists; the perfect too for our sneaky government.  Six’s latest assignment is to kill a fellow Number-Only, but he quickly learns that there’s a reason the powers that be want Four’s mouth shut.  Now on the run and holding a dangerous secret, Six must stay live long enough to learn the truth, protect the few people he cares about, and take down the system that brought him up.

Gray Man really is one of the year’s best movies so far, but maybe that’s somewhat due to a lack of competition.  It definitely has its pluses: Ryan Gosling is great, stoic & funny in turn, Chris Evans is an excellent choice for the douche-y bad guy, you want to smack that mustache right off his face, and there is never one single boring moment, there are fights around every corner and in every crack between scenes.  The minuses are there too though: the side cast *really* sucks, like can’t act at all, or at least can’t make their stale, stereotypical characters come to life, and some of the fight scenes are a little unbelievable.  It really is like Bond, an over-the-top assassin/espionage flick with humor and death galore, but taken to the next level and pushed to be even deadlier.  It’s exciting, captivating, will make for a cool rewatch, and offers audiences the chance to escape into a wild two hours; not Oscar stuff, of course, but I’ll take it as a late summer blockbuster.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


By ochippie

Writer, Critic, Dad Columbus, Ohio, USA Denver Broncos, St. Louis Cardinals Colorado Avalanche, Duke Blue Devils