What makes a spy thriller spectacular and engrossing is a stellar cast that can take action to new heights, and a unique and interesting premise. The Gray Man has both of those elements.
With Ryan Gosling as Court Gentry, Ana De Armas as Court’s old friend and assistant Dani Miranda, Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen, and Billy Bob Thornton as Donald Fitzroy, The Gray Man has the brilliant minds it needs for a thrilling adventure with unexpected surprises. And its plot makes it one of the most immersive action films from Netflix that I have seen in a long while.
The plot of The Gray Man is that Gentry, whose CIA code name is Sierra Six or just “Six”, is a free lance spy and assassin who has spent most of his life in prison. Gentry is hired by Fitzroy to be a hired gun and a guard, and Fitzroy also enlists Hansen for a bounty hunt mission. Despite his past, Gentry is a good guy in the film and he faces all kinds of peril as his world collides with people out to get him. Hansen, who turns out to be a bad guy, has no idea what Gentry is capable of and he doesn’t know what Court’s assistant, Miranda, is capable of either. The conflicts explode into global catastrophes in cities all over of Europe, but the only issue that matters with The Gray Man is that either Gentry or Hansen must accept defeat. Of course neither of them want that in this joy ride of fun and explosions.
There is a point in the film where Gentry, explaining how he got the code name Six, says, “007 was taken.” I say that The Gray Man takes the spy thriller genre beyond 007, to more and better enemies and to uncharted territory. The Gray Man is like a bread trail, a cat and mouse game, among all the characters—it can be hard to figure out who to trust. I don’t always pull for the “good guys”, but I found myself rooting for Gentry, along with Fitzroy and Dani Miranda, instead of Hansen.
Directors Anthony and Joe Russo show in The Gray Man that they know how to put together an entertaining puzzle of catastrophe. The film goes full throttle from the start, and the surprises keep coming. The constant blindsiding with the characters will blow the audiences’ minds, and the fun grows with each twist and turn. The Gray Man is from Netflix and it will go to that platform after its theater run. Both formats will be fun, but I recommend the big screen experience. Four stars for The Gray Man.