The Gray Man, directed by Joe and Anthony Russo, has everything it takes to make an engaging action thriller- a star-studded cast, slick action sequences, competent actors to deliver them convincingly and of course, the writer-directors, Russo Brothers (who also directed Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame) themselves. But the film’s fatal flaw is its ho-hum plot that never lets it become anything more than the sum of its parts.
An undercover Sierra Agent Number Six (played by Ryan Gosling) uncovers some dark secrets of the CIA. So the head, Denny Carmichael (played by Rege Jean Page), orders the psychopathic Lloyd Hansen (played by Chris Evans) to catch number Six.
The plot has nothing new to offer and lacks any element of suspense to keep you on your toes or even so much as catch your attention. The entire film is so predictable that you never feel like caring about the lead. You know that he will come out of the most dangerous of ambushes and fights unharmed.
The cinematography by Stephen Windon is at its best. In one of the early scenes in the film, a duel between the number Six and the number Four Sierra agent takes place in the middle of a firework at a party. The visuals were dazzling. The stunt sequel set in Prague, with the chasing cars and the tram was thrilling in particular.
The performances were satisfying too. Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas meticulously deliver all the stunts without faltering. But I wonder why everybody was so keen on fighting with their hands if they had guns. It was refreshing to see our beloved Cap (Evans) in a manic shade that is difficult to despise. Dhanush, meanwhile, makes his cameo memorable by doing justice to his never-seen-before action-flick side. Although if I were at his place, I would seriously consider at least unbuttoning my tight-chic suit before starting a simultaneous fight with Gosling and Armas.
Even after all its pros, The Gray Man is just passable. The story is far from engrossing. Despite the little backstory of Gosling’s character that the film provides you with, you never get a chance to emotionally invest yourself in the lead or any of the other characters. This one is a one-time watch, available to stream on Netflix.
I am going with Two and-a-half out of Five stars for The Gray Man