Going to watch one of the most highly-anticipated films of the year was really thrilling, I have to admit. And watching two of my favourite Hollywood actors share screen space while being directed by my favourite director duo has been definitely on the top of my dream team-to-watch list. The Gray Man has given its audience something to talk about since day one, but the one conversation that everyone kept circling back to was its big and famous cast. Along with Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling, the film also features some of the finest talents around the world like Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, and our very own superstar, Dhanush.
The movie revolves around Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling) who is recruited by Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) to join the CIA. The highly-skilled Sierra Six does his job to the finest of his abilities but things start going south when he turns into a target and finds himself being hunted by bounty hunters around the world. This is when Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a former CIA agent comes in to take Six out and has no problem using his sadistic ways to get what he wants. Along with his co-agent, Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) the two go on a globe-trotting run while trying to save Six’s only family.
This movie hits all the right spots when it comes to jaw-dropping action and cinematography. Chris Evans, who has previously worked with Joe and Anthony [Russo] for one of the greatest superhero films of all time, The Avengers, can be seen in a completely new light in this film. Unlike his usual American sweetheart roles, Evans is playing the role of a sociopathic killer, which almost feels like a fresh take on jaw-droppingly handsome antagonists. Ultimately, Llyod [Evans’ character] does steal the show with his sadistic humour and mean guy charm, every time he’s on the screen.
While the over-the-top action sequence did play the main role in the film, it almost felt overwhelming to watch. The constant running from one country to another did seem a bit too much to take, almost confusing at certain points. In fact, in some scenes, the action sequence overshadows the plot. Gosling, who plays the lead, does seem to underplay the role of the bad-guy-with-a-heart character. He tends to get almost washed out in a few scenes, especially when he shares the space with Evans, who lights up the screen with his murderous aura and cheeky one-liners.
But what was probably the most disappointing was Dhanush’s character. With hardly any screen time and just a handful of dialogues, you do feel that the actor drew the short end of the stick. And the fact that we were all looking forward to seeing Dhanush in a whole new light only makes it sting.
Another actor that the world was super excited to see was Regé-Jean Page from Bridgerton fame, who plays the role of the ‘evil’ CIA chief. A tad but underwhelming, it almost feels like his effort to look like a mean and self-centred boss comes off as phoney.
And while the end does take us on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, it still seems to feel incomplete. The truth is that the Russo Brothers’ ‘more is more’ mantra doesn’t deliver in The Gray Man. While there are a few good moments, one can’t escape the fact that the story is just not there—on more than one occasion I found myself asking “why” (thanks to the overwhelming twists and turns). But, all in all, it still is a reasonably enjoyable film if you like good-looking men constantly fighting against each other, and if you’re a fan of Chris Evans.
The movie is available to watch on Netflix.