The Gray Man
Based on the 2009 novel of the same name by Mark Greaney, The Gray Man follows the titular Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), a man recruited from prison to be a CIA operative, operating outside the law and strictly off the record. When an attempt to take out a target causes Six to discover his employer’s dark secrets, the CIA puts a bounty on his head, hiring the unhinged mercenary Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) to silence Six by any means necessary before he can make the information public.
This film has a very straightforward premise that has been done countless times before, and it doesn’t do much to innovate on the tried-and-tested formula of “action hero on the run”. The Gray Man nevertheless does a decent job at telling its simple story, making up for the lack of complexity in its narrative with solid action held together by a functional, if uninspiring, script and buoyed significantly by its talented cast.
Gosling is a lot of fun as the mercenary-with-a-heart-of-gold Six, adding a lot of personality to the role to compensate for dialogue that doesn’t give him much to work with. Evans is a very entertaining counterpart to Six as the delightfully deranged Lloyd, bringing heaps of heel heat to an otherwise one-note character. It’s always good to see Ana de Armas and Jessica Henwick in anything, and they don’t disappoint here as field agent Dani Miranda and CIA second-in-command Suzanne Brewer, delivering strong and emotive performances that enhance the action and lift up the weaker parts of the movie.
Overall, The Gray Man isn’t a film that’s going to set anyone’s world alight – in this regard, the title is appropriate in ways the writers may not have intended. However, it just manages to squeak by with a passing grade by virtue of its serviceable plot, engaging action scenes and the hard work its charismatic cast put into elevating the writing. The script may be grey, but there’s enough colour in the other parts of the film to make it an inoffensive if insubstantial watch.
The Gray Man is released in cinemas on 15th July 2022.
Watch the trailer for The Gray Man here: