The Gray Man movie review: A super explosive popcorn potboiler, sans the wobbly narrative
What: The reasons for the high anticipation of The Gray Man from a movie buff like me were many - an adaptation of a best-seller thriller, the craftsmanship of Russo brothers of Avengers fame, the dynamics between Ryan Gostling and Chris Evans and Dhanush Hollywood project of Dhanush.
Well, many of these elements met my expectations in justified proportions but what kept me invested in this 2 hour film was its superlative action.
The Gray Man movie synopsis
Ryan Gostling stars as a shadowy agent working for the CIA who uncovers some dark and deadly secrets about the organization and is then hunted by a sociopathic rogue operative Lloyd Hansen , played by Chris Evans who has put a bounty on the former's head.
The narrative begins with Ryan in prison offered the position of 'Sierra Six' in an elite program of the CIA to eliminate corrupt people. Next, we hop 18 years and the narrative shifts to Bangkok where he is executing one of his missions that primarily involves the search of his recruiter.
Directors Anthony and John Russo weave a deadly plot and marble it with staggering set pieces and stunning action sequences. Their forte! But I must admit that I faced real trouble connecting the dots as the narrative hopped the different exotic locales of the globe - covering Turkey, Prague, Croatia and Azerbaijan and was wondering if the title of the film should have been ' The Stray Man'! I struggled with the baffling intentions of the characters but thanks to the superbly executed Chases and explosive combats, it diverted my attention.
To give credits where due, Russo brothers extract the best from the stellar ensemble. Ryan Gostling is impressive in the action sequences and maintains a tough guy demeanor.
We get to see Ana De Armas, after Deep Waters, flex her action chops and performing with remarkable agility.
'Tamil friend' Dhanush gets an electrifying entry in the second half and gets two heavy-duty feisty fight sequences. He does with great elan and a somber face.
But the man who deserves to walk away with all accolades is Chris Evans playing the bad guy. Sporting a prim moustache, he is super confident, let's go his ‘messiah’ hangover of Captain America - the avenging Avenger and lends a menacing dimension to his character. His Lloyd has no redemptive traits and can go to any extent to achieve his objective.
For action acolytes, the film is a fun fare with dollops of fast-paced and adrenaline-charged sequences and worth investing. For discerning viewers, they will get plenty of opportunities to nitpick. Choice is yours.
I go with 3 stars out of 5 for The Gray Man. It is streaming on Netflix.