The Gray Man Review: Ryan Gosling's Action as a CIA Hitman

The Gray Man Review: Ryan Gosling's Action as a CIA Hitman

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“The Gray Man” (2022) is the latest Netflix Original Movie that has been trending since early June. This action film is directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, the two brothers behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) films.

Studded with Hollywood stars, this film stars Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Billy Bob Thornton, Rege-Jean Page. “The Gray Man” continued to garner attention throughout its promotions. With a film budget that reaches 200 million USD (Rp 3 trillion) and shooting in various countries. This film has many aspects that raise high expectations for Netflix viewers.

Sierra Six is an ex-con who is recruited by the CIA as a hit man. Until one day, knowing the dark secrets of the CIA who take advantage of people like him. Helped by Miranda, Six flees across countries after becoming a fugitive from the CIA and Lloyd Hansen, a sadistic criminal sociopath .

A Magnificent and Visually Expensive Action Movie

Every frame in “The Gray Man” really shows how expensive Netflix action movies are this time. Seeing the many action films on this streaming platform , which flop more often. The opening scene at the colorful and boisterous party club became a lively opening.

There are many action scenes on a large scale presented in this film. There's always some cat-and-mouse action between Six and the squad sent by Lloyd Hansen. Starting from extreme duels in the air, explosions in residential areas, to shootings at magnificent historical buildings.

The cinematography and camera work applied are also very dynamic. It would be more exciting if watched on the big screen, at least with television. However, in a two-hour film with locations around seven countries, the transition feels quite fast. Where the plot is actually about Six moving from one country to another. Continue to successfully escape from the pursuit of Lloyd Hansen.

Unfamiliar Hitman Story Format

“The Gray Man” is an action film adapted from the novel by Mark Greaney. The Russo brothers once revealed in the press that "The Gray Man" has a more contemporary background and story concept. Unlike James Bond (which is also based on a novel) with a more serious and old school story concept .

Even though it is packed with a more modern universe, in fact “The Gray Man” has a story format that is adapted from many works with the theme of assassins or secret agents that have existed.

Starting from the main conflict, where the agency keeps a dark secret from its own agent. We have often found this conflict in similar films, right? Then the antagonist character who appears as a sadistic psychopath. Unfortunately, the characterization of Lloyd Hansen does not intimidate the audience. Each character only mentions that he is sociopath , impulsive, and so on. Then the audience is only told to believe in these claims.

The script writer forgot to present the cruelty of this antagonist in action scenes that are both captivating and terrifying. There are several scenes that show that Hansen is cruel and likes to torture his victims, but it feels shallow.

Then there is a girl character named Claire Fitzroy as the object of the hostage. Weaknesses and characters are presented to show the human side of the protagonist. We have often found this element in similar action films. With many old elements found in this film, the plot becomes predictable and loses the touch of suspense that should be felt by the audience.

Doesn't Have the Potential to Become a Big Game Franchise

It's no secret that Netflix is ​​going through a subscriber decline crisis . Not only that, Netflix also seems to keep trying to produce the latest original content to retain and attract new subscribers .

“The Gray Man” is one of the projects with a large budget that should be maximized. But again, Netflix has not broken our view of the action projects executed by this platform .

“The Gray Man” has the potential to become a franchise like 'John Wick', 'Mission Impossible', or Netflix's James Bond. Unfortunately, this opportunity is not maximized by writing stories that are captivating and have their own characteristics.

Netflix has to realize that sometimes it's not all about big budgets , big names, or quantity of content. Everything always depends on the quality of the content presented.

The visual concept and production of this film can be superior. It is very visible where the budget is allocated (including for top actors). However, the story is not the main strength of "The Gray Man". For fans of action films with thunderous visuals, “The Gray Man” might be quite an entertaining spectacle.

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