Run time: 122 mins
The Russo brothers shift focus from superheroes to super spies in this relentless action blockbuster.
When the CIA’s most skilled operative, a black ops mercenary known only as Sierra Six whose true identity is kept tightly under wraps, accidentally uncovers dark agency secrets, psychopathic former colleague Lloyd Hansen puts a bounty on his head, setting off a global manhunt by international assassins.
Produced by Netflix and adapted from Mark Greaney’s novel by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who penned all of the Russos’ Marvel films) and Joe Russo himself, The Gray Man is a setpiece-packed cat-and-mouse spy thriller. With a budget of $200 million, it sits right in the top bracket of the most expensive streaming productions ever made. And it shows, globetrotting through a series of incredible locations ranging from Prague to the Château de Chantilly in France. It’s a streamlined story with plenty of explosive action, all stemming from a battle of wills between its two central forces. Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans are on typically fine form here, providing a real mano a mano and representing two distinctly different versions of the CIA; in what it can be, and what it can do.
Genuine, hard-hitting entertainment.