August 8, 2022
The Gray Man. Ryan Gosling as Six. © 2022 Netflix, Inc.

Putting Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans together in an action thriller will always be a casting coup, and spell surefire box office success. After all, Ryan Mr. La La Land and Captain America Chris in one film means the women will swoon in droves, while the men will still have a healthy interest in the film – seeing how it’s from Joe and Anthony Russo, the brothers who gave us two seminal Avengers films, Infinity War and Endgame. The Gray Man drops on Netflix July 22.

In fact, during the global media event held last week (1am Manila time), it was a statement from the Russo Brothers that I felt was the most intriguing. To paraphrase, the Brothers said they were out to establish a new action hero for this day and age with The Gray Man. They mentioned that James Bond is over 60 years old, and even Jason Bourne dates back twenty years. So with Gosling’s Court Gentry, they’re establishing an action hero who is very much of this era, brushing against the burning issues of today. 

Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen is the other big name in this film, and he’ll be portraying the nemesis of Court. It’ll be a welcome departure for Evans as he’ll be the ones the audience will be hissing and booing at. And you can be so sure he’ll be having a lot of fun playing the villain, and pulling out the rug from under all of us who may have pigeonholed him as a clean cut hero figure. There’s Ana de Armas as Dani Miranda, but she’s not given as memorable a role as the cameo she was gifted with in the last James Bond film. Ironic, in that she plays a more essential part of the overall narrative and has several action scenes. 

The Gray Man (2022). Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen. Cr. Paul Abell/Netflix © 2022

Other points of interest in the support cast would be breakout star Regé-Jean Page, who captured the hearts of lady audiences in Bridgerton. And then there’s Billy Bob Thornton playing Donald Fitzroy, the man who recruits Court as a covert CIA operative; and in what should be a breakout role for her, Julia Butters as Claire Fitzroy, Donald’s niece. Butters is really terrific in this role, holding her own in her scenes with Gosling.

 
No spoilers here, just be assured that this is a Russo Brothers film through and through, just without the superheroes – although you could be fooled given how Gosling and Evans go at it, and survive most anything thrown at them. It’s like you put Fernando Poe, Jr., Joseph Estrada and Bong Revilla’s ‘superbidas’ roles all into a blender, then topped it with extra juice. 


The narrative is pretty straightforward, with classic double-cross elements. As mentioned, Court Gentry is recruited from jail, and made to act as a hitman for the CIA, with the code name ‘6’.  Years later, he’s made to put down someone, who he later discovers is ‘4’, a recruit just like him. It would seem plans are being made above their pay level grade, and the mission intent is to eliminate all those who were recruited. 


In desperation, the CIA then turns to Lloyd Hansen, a sociopathic killer who used to work for the CIA but was then deemed too crazy. Soon, a cat and mouse game ensue, and of course, we’re cheering for the mouse. 


As in Russo films, the action sequences are what stand out – whether it be a street chase, hand-to-hand combat, aerial scenes, or the explosions. Some do remind us strongly of what we’ve previously seen in the Avengers films, but with a fresh coat of ‘mortal’ paint. 


Going back to what the Russo Brothers mentioned during the presscon, there’s an open-ended conclusion, a lot of narrative strands left hanging, to make the possibility of this being a franchise film series a real probability. Make no mistake about it, the Gray Man delivers and is a welcome arrival. It’s what Netflix should really be about, marrying big star power with a narrative that justifies the assembling of stars. Too often, we’ve seen the streaming service rely on star power alone. 

The Gray Man. Ryan Gosling as Six. © 2022 Netflix, Inc.

Putting Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans together in an action thriller will always be a casting coup, and spell surefire box office success. After all, Ryan Mr. La La Land and Captain America Chris in one film means the women will swoon in droves, while the men will still have a healthy interest in the film – seeing how it’s from Joe and Anthony Russo, the brothers who gave us two seminal Avengers films, Infinity War and Endgame. The Gray Man drops on Netflix July 22.

In fact, during the global media event held last week (1am Manila time), it was a statement from the Russo Brothers that I felt was the most intriguing. To paraphrase, the Brothers said they were out to establish a new action hero for this day and age with The Gray Man. They mentioned that James Bond is over 60 years old, and even Jason Bourne dates back twenty years. So with Gosling’s Court Gentry, they’re establishing an action hero who is very much of this era, brushing against the burning issues of today. 

Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen is the other big name in this film, and he’ll be portraying the nemesis of Court. It’ll be a welcome departure for Evans as he’ll be the ones the audience will be hissing and booing at. And you can be so sure he’ll be having a lot of fun playing the villain, and pulling out the rug from under all of us who may have pigeonholed him as a clean cut hero figure. There’s Ana de Armas as Dani Miranda, but she’s not given as memorable a role as the cameo she was gifted with in the last James Bond film. Ironic, in that she plays a more essential part of the overall narrative and has several action scenes. 

The Gray Man (2022). Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen. Cr. Paul Abell/Netflix © 2022

Other points of interest in the support cast would be breakout star Regé-Jean Page, who captured the hearts of lady audiences in Bridgerton. And then there’s Billy Bob Thornton playing Donald Fitzroy, the man who recruits Court as a covert CIA operative; and in what should be a breakout role for her, Julia Butters as Claire Fitzroy, Donald’s niece. Butters is really terrific in this role, holding her own in her scenes with Gosling.

 
No spoilers here, just be assured that this is a Russo Brothers film through and through, just without the superheroes – although you could be fooled given how Gosling and Evans go at it, and survive most anything thrown at them. It’s like you put Fernando Poe, Jr., Joseph Estrada and Bong Revilla’s ‘superbidas’ roles all into a blender, then topped it with extra juice. 

The narrative is pretty straightforward, with classic double-cross elements. As mentioned, Court Gentry is recruited from jail, and made to act as a hitman for the CIA, with the code name ‘6’.  Years later, he’s made to put down someone, who he later discovers is ‘4’, a recruit just like him. It would seem plans are being made above their pay level grade, and the mission intent is to eliminate all those who were recruited. 

In desperation, the CIA then turns to Lloyd Hansen, a sociopathic killer who used to work for the CIA but was then deemed too crazy. Soon, a cat and mouse game ensue, and of course, we’re cheering for the mouse. 

As in Russo films, the action sequences are what stand out – whether it be a street chase, hand-to-hand combat, aerial scenes, or the explosions. Some do remind us strongly of what we’ve previously seen in the Avengers films, but with a fresh coat of ‘mortal’ paint. 

Going back to what the Russo Brothers mentioned during the presscon, there’s an open-ended conclusion, a lot of narrative strands left hanging, to make the possibility of this being a franchise film series a real probability. Make no mistake about it, the Gray Man delivers and is a welcome arrival. It’s what Netflix should really be about, marrying big star power with a narrative that justifies the assembling of stars. Too often, we’ve seen the streaming service rely on star power alone. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.