"The Gray Man"Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
Ryan Gosling is able to play many different characters. He can play the romantic, the brooding loner, the comedic down-on-his-luck private eye, and even an adaptation of the Ken doll in Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" movie, which comes out next year. However, we see much more of Gosling's personality and comedic timing in the Russo Brother's adaptation of "The Gray Man", which is as an entertaining and action-packed spy thriller that combines elements from previous spy films that feature James Bond and Jason Bourne.
Gosling plays an inmate turned spy, known simply as Six. He spends almost two decades pulling off hits and completing missions for the American government in exchange for his freedom behind bars. However, when he is tasked with pulling off a hit on a drug dealer in the area he is in, he discovers dark secrets that the American government is trying to hide, forcing him to go rogue and hide through various countries.
When the government realizes he is gone, the government tasks assassin Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans) to hunt down the rogue agent and take him out. When they hit home by kidnapping the daughter (Julia Butters) of the man that gave Six his chance at life (Billy Bob Thornton), Six is forced to save the young girl, with assistance by another rogue agent (Ana De Armas).
This movie is a basic spy thriller. It doesn't do anything new or has anything to offer that we already haven't seen before, and the plot details and ending become very predictable after a while. However, due to the Russo's directing and the acting by the main cast, they make it one of the most fun and enjoyable action thrillers I have seen in a long time. The movie is fast-paced, and never showed any sign of slowing down. The directors were able to combine the story and action sequences into one, showcasing their ability to further the plot through action sequences. In other films, I would say that many action sequences are used to just add more minutes to the runtime and add some spice into the mix, but this movie is able to showcase how they are able to do great storytelling during hectic and chaotic scenes.
The actors do an excellent job of portraying these characters and totally embodying the roles. Evans and Gosling are excellent together on-screen, as well as standing out during their own scenes apart from each other. Evans is amazing at portraying a villain, which he has been showing quite a bit after his departure from Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is just able to embody these mean-spirited, yet humorous characters that are so self-centered and horrible. This role is no exception, and he delivers some of the best lines in the movie and is involved in some of the best scenes in this film.
Gosling, at the same time, is just so fun and enjoyable to watch. He portrays these characters that are so different to his real life personality that shines through interviews, but it seems like this role of Six matches his personality more than any other role. He is able to incorporate his dry humor into serious scenarios, as well as being able to barely show his emotions. Many actors have a hard time of showing too much emotion, ruining the scene and the tone of many films. But Gosling has repeatedly shown multiple times that he can show the perfect amount of emotion to be able to get it across to the viewer from the screen.
Overall, even though this movie is predictable and contains the basic plot points that have been seen in multiple spy movies, it still entertains the audiences and provides great action sequences and characters. The actor's on-screen chemistry is wonderful, and is just a lot of fun to watch. The two hours flew by throughout this movie, and I was left wanting more. Netflix has already approved a sequel and a spinoff to this film, spawning a universe for this film and its characters. I'm definitely excited to see where the next movies go, and hopefully it lives up to the hype and the level of this film.