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The Gray Man (15)

Cast: Chris Evans, Alfre Woodard, Ryan Gosling, Billy Bob Thornton, Ana de Armas
Genre: Action
Author(s): Stephen McFeely, Joe Russo, Christopher Markus
Director: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Release Date: 15/07/2022 (selected cinemas)
Running Time: 120mins
Country: US
Year: 2022

Court Gentry, aka top-secret operative Sierra Six, has spent 18 years working covert missions for the CIA under Denny Carmichael and his predecessor, Donald Fitzroy. An assassination in Bangkok goes awry and Six stumbles upon dark secrets within the upper echelons of the agency he has sworn to serve. Disobeying orders from his superiors, Six becomes a target for sociopathic private contractor Lloyd Hansen and one-time allies including CIA operative Suzanne Brewer.


LondonNet Film Review

The Gray Man (12A) Film Review from LondonNet

In Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, directors Anthony and Joe Russo eliminated half of the living beings in the universe when Thanos snapped his gloved fingers. With the action-packed spy caper The Gray Man, adapted from Mark Greaney’s novel, the siblings have just one target in the crosshairs – James Bond – orchestrating an adrenaline-pumping adventure that snatches up the mantle from Jason Bourne as heir apparent to Ian Fleming’s suave secret agent. Scriptwriters Joe Russo, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely score one easy laugh in an early flashback when their conflicted protagonist, Six, casually swats away a question about his unusual name: “Double-O Seven was already taken”…

Glamorous locations, explosive car chases and gun fights are abound, breathlessly choreographed to deliver maximum thrills, including the wanton destruction of Vienna with a runaway tram. One of the principal pleasures of Bond’s most recent outing, No Time To Die, was Ana de Armas’ scene-stealing performance as a seductive CIA agent stationed in Cuba. She left us wanting more and the Russo brothers cannily cast de Armas in a meatier role here, complementing Ryan Gosling’s wise-cracking and muscular central turn as a CIA puppet who dares to hold his handlers to account. He sparks fierce on-screen rivalry with Chris Evans in bruising hand-to-hand combat that fully warrants the film’s 15 certificate.

Incarcerated for a “noble” crime, convicted killer Court Gentry (Gosling) is recruited by grizzled CIA handler Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) to work for the US government as a lethal asset who lingers in the shadows and terminates threats to national security without any official ties to The White House. “Let’s just say you’d be indefinitely useful,” smirks Gentry, who rechristens his new recruit Sierra Six. A complex mission in Bangkok, led by CIA agent Dani Miranda (de Armas), goes awry and Six stumbles upon corruption within the upper echelons of the agency he has sworn to serve.

CIA director Denny Carmichael (Rege-Jean Page) and lieutenant Suzanne Brewer (Jessica Henwick) recruit sociopathic private contractor Lloyd Hansen (Evans) to neutralise Six and retrieve an incriminating hard drive. A high-stakes game of cat and mouse puts Six on a collision course with the world’s most brilliant assassins including Avik San (Dhanush). Thankfully, Six still has a few trusted allies, including Fitzroy, his young niece Claire (Julia Butters) and retired CIA London station chief Margaret Cahill (Alfre Woodard).

The Gray Man is a whoop-inducing blast that confidently outmuscles Bond for pure escapist entertainment. The Russos are as relentless as Six in their determination to leave us shaken and stirred by spectacular physical stunts, such as an exhilarating escape from a fracturing airplane fuselage. Every nickel and cent of the rumoured 200 million dollar budget is on the screen and Gosling gratuitously flaunts a ripped physique in between droll quips and bruising fisticuffs that leave us teetering in delicious delirium on the edge of our seats.

– Kim Hu


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