The Gray Man Review: In contrast to the conventional global shoot-em-up about the C.I.A., a very dull organization, the frenzied caper "The Gray Man," from the directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, sports more bright color. The main character in The Russos, Agent Six (Ryan Gosling), arrives for his first on-screen murder with a stylish red suit and matching fingernail varnish.
Six is a convicted killer who was recruited from prison by a government official (played by Billy Bob Thornton) and sent to a covert death squadron. He works for his freedom, not his 401(k). Despite displaying a thin coating of exhaustion that Gosling wears like a rain poncho, he appears to be satisfied with the arrangement.
Gosling has limited space to delve into Six's nuances because of the Russos' more-is-more approach to filming. Six's first attempt goes wrong, jeopardizing his employment. Six is unflappably unconcerned as this opulent excursion traverses ten nations, including Thailand and Azerbaijan.
He is told by Thornton's character, "I get it, you're glib. Everybody else in the film is as entertaining, if not distinctive, including the snide villains (Chris Evans plays the primary bad guy, a heavy) and an adamant cancer patient (Alfre Woodard) who gloats, "If you say anything even faintly empathetic, I will shoot you."
The script for the movie was written by Joe Russo, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely, who are regular writers for the brothers' movies. It is an amusing assault, full of one-liners and gunshots. At its foundation, the story is a typical one, but the razzle-dazzle does a lot to liven it up.
(It should come as no surprise that in a narrative with no less than three all-too-convenient explosions, the actual adversary is, as always, the C.I.A. itself.) To the point of self-sabotage, the hysteria is also distracting. One wonders that the Russos are unsure of Gosling's ability to pull off his stunts after noticing an early battle sequence is embellished with so many cut-in images of smoke and explosions.
Thankfully, the movie gains self-assurance and originality. Later scenes show Six tenaciously freeing himself from restraints, a trap door, and a falling airliner. Going by the barrels of their automatic guns, Gosling and Evans appear to have made an attempt to grow biceps that are even bigger.
Evans, who has starred in multiple films by the Russos as Captain America, seems to enjoy playing a self-described sociopath who is so violent that real sociopaths should file a defamation lawsuit. He laughs, firing a machine gun, "Ho ho ho!" Evans gives the role a mustachioed vigor despite the fact that he is too outlandish to be a credible threat.
Final Rating- 3/5