The most expensive Netflix movie of all time, an action thriller whose production cost 200 million dollars, turned out to be a generic action like we’ve probably seen a thousand times before. Brothers Anthony and Joe Russo made a name for themselves shooting superhero blockbusters like “Avengers” and it’s quite obvious that they do exceptionally well in such action spectacles, but apart from the fact that they literally destroyed half of Prague in a chase scene (fictional, of course), ” The Gray Man” won’t really be remembered for anything because it doesn’t stand out at all in the sea of similar films. It is an action thriller in the footsteps of films about James Bond, Ethan Hunt from “Mission Impossible” or Jason Bourne from his franchise, but even weaker than the vast majority of those films.
With great difficulty, I managed to watch this to the end, because it is a film in which it is clear from the very beginning how it will end, and I am not really impressed by the scenes of car chases, dodging bullets, jumping out of airplanes without a parachute, jumping out of a moving tram at full speed and jumping into the car of course also at full speed. In addition to the action, the dialogues are completely generic and it’s as if some computer algorithm determined and decided what could be funny and witty in these dialogues for the average viewer of such action spectacles. And the new action hero here is Ryan Gosling, who drives in his standard muted version as the CIA’s elite assassin Sierra Six.
Twenty years earlier, he was found in prison by one of the leading men of the Fitzroy agency (Billy Bob Thornton clearly plays the role and easily fattens the bank account) and offered him freedom in exchange for working as an elite assassin for the CIA’s secret program. We then return to the present and find Sierra in Bangkok where he is tasked with eliminating a suspect who is allegedly selling national secrets. But after the mission turns into chaos, Six will realize that the target was his predecessor Sierra Four who exposed the corruption of the new head of the CIA and will hand his successor an encrypted stick with evidence of it. Of course, Sierra Six will then become a new target, and probably all the paid assassins of the world will go after him after the new boss to eliminate the elite assassin hires another outside collaborator, the irritating Lloyd Hanson, played by Captain America, Chris Evans.
And it’s not that I expect such action spectacles to be realistic, but this is beyond all reason, so Lloyd’s mercenaries, trying to catch Six, will literally raze half of Europe to the ground, shooting everything in their path as if they were in Afghanistan, Iraq or DR Congo . Part of the action also takes place in Croatia, more specifically in Mljet, where a fraction of 200 million dollars was spent to computerize the famous French Renaissance castle Chentilly. And regardless of the fact that the Russo brothers filled the film with famous faces and that we also have Ana de Armas, Brazilian Wagner Moura, Alfree Woodard or Shea Whigam in short and pointless flashbacks as Sierra’s father, from start to finish “The Gray Man” works like a movie whose plot and characters are scraped from other similar genre works.