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The Gray Man

WOW is the new mega-budget action thriller THE GRAY MAN a ton of fun.

Violent, occasionally dark but loaded with jaw dropping action, it’s just what you’d expect from The Russo Brothers (Avengers Endgame, Captain America).

Ryan Gosling is Six, a near perfect & lethal assassin on the CIA payroll.

His mission takes him to Bangkok to take out a target surrounded by bodyguards in a crowded club. As midnight nears, he acquires the man in his sights, but things go bad quickly.

In a less imaginative film, Six would be on one roof and we’d see the target in crosshairs and a finger on the trigger. But this is the Russo Bros. Armed with a lot of style and a $200 million budget (tied for the largest ever for a Netflix film), the camera swoops down through fireworks and into the club. Six is two floors beneath the target, watching everything through thermal sights as two levels of party revelers weave between him and the bad guy. Visually, it’s fantastic, teasing the two hours ahead.

As the mission goes wrong, secrets are spilled and Six questions everything he thinks he knows and everyone around him. Just who are the bad guys here?

What a cast.

Chris Evans is the anti-Captain America as Lloyd Hansen, the batshit crazy cleanup man with no filter and no regard for collateral damage. He’s been hired by CIA head Carmichael, played with polish by Rege-Jean Page from “Bridgerton”. He’s currently a front runner to be the next James Bond and watching him here, I get it.

Ana de Armas, the best part of “No Time To Die” I just as lethal here as Dani, a field agent pulled into the double crosses who has Six’s back as they try to uncover some huge secrets. Billy Bob Thornton is excellent as Fitzroy, Six’s old boss pulled out of retirement when someone begins to clean up loose ends.

Dhanush has real presence as the one hired hit man who seems to have Six’s number.

Like a OO7 flick, THE GRAY MAN hops all over the globe in a massive game of cat and mouse. Lloyd will stop at nothing to take out Six. Six is more than ready for the battle.

A scene on a massive military transport torn apart mid-air as a squad tries to kill Six is fantastic.

It’s everything that plane crash sequence in that god-awful Tom Cruise Mummy movie wanted to be.

A sequence with countless teams of death squads descending on Six in the middle of a European town square is flawless. For fifteen minutes, The Russos stage a massive battle that leaves half the city in flames. It easily tops anything in the last Bond movie for spectacle and action. Imagine John Wick mashed up with Jason Bourne in cars, trains and motorcycles. Absolutely killer.

When there are this many action scenes piled up, the ending can often fall flat, but the finale at a massive mansion manages to call out everything from “From Russia With Love” to “The Shining”.

Gosling is excellent in a serious role that could have been dull and Evans is a blast, spilling blood and hilarious one-liners like some 80’s Schwarzenegger flick hero. He’s absolutely nuts, sporting a porn mustache and plenty of insanity.

Gosling signed a multi-picture deal to appear as Six and I’m already looking forward to where the story goes after a very satisfying final shot.

There’s no gray area here, THE GRAY MAN is an absolute blast and gets an A-.

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