The Gray Man – Movie Reviews by Ry!

The Gray Man – Shades of Action Lost: Run Spy … RUN!!!

When it comes to film, there are things we all hope to experience.  Some want a journey of laughter, while others want a fantastical escape.  Even as we have hopes, details can be … less then expected.  In this review, I look at the latest Netflix original.  This is a film defined by only, it’s action.  For all that it could have been, The Gray Man is another typical action/spy film.

This film follows Six (Ryan Gosling), one of CIA’s most skilled operative.  When things turn dire on a particular mission, he must decide between the agency or his own life.  The foundation is your typical action/espionage tale.  As the story begins, we are introduced to Six (and other characters) through a generalized retrieval mission.  After a set of action sequences, he discovers that what is retrieved holds terrible secrets about certain individuals in the CIA.  Six decides to go rogue, which leads to the CIA hiring Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) to go after him.  From this point, the journey becomes a global manhunt set within a repeated cycle:

Big Action Sequence > Exposition/Character Dialogue > Plot Device Driven Moment > Big Action Sequence

Within this cycle, there is a sense of potential storylines.  With each hint of some great development, everything gets engulfed for the sake of genre highlights.  This causes a balancing issue between characterization and tonal prowess, creating a lack of purpose for plot driven moments.  The journey never moves beyond the surface level stature of Six’s motivation and Hansen’s chaotic encounters, leading to all the potential getting lost in the visual chaos.

The manhunt eventually forces Six to make some tough decisions.  This brings everyone into one central location, which becomes another setup for the repeated cycle (from before).  This all leads into a predictable climax of any film in this genre.  The Gray Man is just a cluster of action sequences sandwiched in lost potential. If you are fan of action, I say maybe watch if you have time. For anyone else, I say don’t bother.  It will just have you wishing … for something better.

Full Score – 1.5 out of 5 (Noise on the TV)

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