The Gray Man (2022)

The Gray Man(2022)

Movie Details

Movie: The Gray Man (2022)
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas
Genres: Action/Thriller
Release date: 22 July 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.5/10
Languages: English
Duration: 2h 02m


The Gray Man(2022)


Netflix hasn’t been doing well lately. Film catalogs are disappearing from it, which are being taken back by studios launching their streaming services, the number of subscribers is not growing so that managers can pat themselves on the back, and in terms of quality, you can’t rely on anything here at all. For a long time, everyone (perhaps except for Netflix) knows that there is a lack of dramatic art and it turns out that quality cannot be ensured by throwing a lot of money at the problem. Thanks to the fourth season of Stranger Things, this streaming giant was talked about in a good way for a while, but the golden days seem to be over. Action The Gray Man had ambitions to bring them back, at least for a while didn’t quite work out.

Running away from the adaptation of Mark Greaney’s book series was practically impossible. Netflix boasted that it was their most expensive project and they poured two hundred million into it, the directors of the third and fourth Avengers Anthony and Joe Russo were in charge, and the main roles were shared by Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, and the video with the shot up tram was seen by almost every Czech with the internet.

The Gray Man has a lot of faults, but the fact that it is not as ambitious as the new Bond films, as clever as Mission: Impossible, and as atmospheric as the series with Jason Bourne, I would not blame this action movie. There’s plenty of room in the world for significantly voiceless action movies. And the sooner one accepts the fact that Netflix did not make a new Casino Royale or redefine the genre like the Bourne myth, but sends an action movie into the world, which with its stupidity can easily match the older B-movies with Van Damme, the better for him and the viewer. At the end of the day, this genre doesn’t need to be extra clever, and with an eye-opening story about an agent who gets his hands on something his employers want and will go after him because of it, it’s enough for a big action spectacle. Unfortunately, The Gray Man has reservations even in the most important matters.

So, for example, the whole thing looks rather unpleasant. Two hundred million is not a small amount of money, and if the creators purposefully are economical on the budget and include information about how much they spent in the campaign, it is fair to expect that the whole thing will look epic. We get plenty of scenes that could be spectacular, but they don’t always turn out well. The opening in Bangkok is trying to follow in Bond’s footsteps, and the firework battle idea isn’t bad at all, but after a few seconds, the whole thing turns into a flashy mess.

The event in Prague, in which teams of mercenaries and the Czech URNY at the Rudolfinum concert, followed by a chase with a tram, which also involves machine guns and some kind of minigun (don’t ask me to look up the name of the weapon) will offer a very fair portion of destruction and imaginative shooting. However, at the same time, sometimes disconnected editing and, above all, strange color grading, which makes even honestly shot scenes with real destruction and explosions look digital and ugly. It could and did work for the Avengers. It’s a big step aside for an action-thriller effort. In addition, someone should take the drone that they fly through the streets of Prague out of the hands of the directors. Those shots aren’t nearly as cool as they think they are.

The action itself then offers a passable Hollywood routine and I quite enjoyed watching something that doesn’t look exactly like John Wick. On the other hand, there aren’t many memorable scenes. The two-on-one battle in the hospital with the Indian hitman has its moments, the Gosling vs. the smiling Evans doesn’t offend either, it’s just that the whole thing is kind of bland, unimaginative, and dry. It’s hard to tell if the Russo’s have used all their ideas at Marvel, they can’t make a riveting spectacle without Kevin Feige or another big producer, or they are just sloppy. In short, the same applies to the action as to the visuals and the story. If the genre suits you, you can excuse a lot from the creators by saying that it’s not really boring and the two hours flew by pretty quickly.

However, I don’t think that Netflix had the ambition to make a movie that would take away people’s Friday night and then be forgotten about. He wanted an event. He wanted the “Netflix Bond”, but the result is simply a more expensive, more epic, but at the core just as problematic as classic Netflix. Without a face, without any uniqueness, without a chance to impress for longer than just those two hours.

Of course, I could tell myself that it didn’t matter at all, that I wasn’t bored for those two hours, and that I didn’t put my money into it, but here it doesn’t work at all. The Gray Man was supposed to be a Netflix showpiece. The thing you think about when considering whether to renew your subscription. It should have been next to Stranger Things or Narcos, or one should occasionally think of it similar to Cuarón’s movie Roma or Scorsese’s movie The Irishman. It was supposed to be an event. And it is not. It’s better and more fun than Red Notice or Old Guard: Immortals.

I am afraid that no one will ever have better conditions, whether financial, production, time, or otherwise, at Netflix. And if, with this blank check, Netflix can send a movie out into the world that I consider to be just above average, mainly because of my love for the genre and a couple of plus or minus passable action scenes, then the streaming giant has bigger problems than I feared.

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