Starring Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick, Regé-Jean Page, Wagner Moura, Julia Butters, Dhanush, Alfre Woodard, and Billy Bob Thornton
Directed by the Russo Brothers
When it comes to unapologetic fun the Russo Brothers are next to none. Having experienced their voracious appetite for adventure in the past, The Gray Man comes as no surprise. The bigger-the-better philosophy of flamboyant filmmaking is very much operational here as Ryan Gosling takes on Chris Evans in a game of cat-and-mouse that takes us halfway across the globe in pursuit of action.
The pace of storytelling is relentless. It’s not that the script doesn’t give us time to think. There is nothing that we need to playback in our minds. The Russo Brother lay out the plot in vivid visceral detail , providing us with a complete comprehensive , sometimes unique sometimes familiar experience.
It may seem like nothing new. But there’s never a dull moment. I for one, was hooked from the start in spite of Gosling’s poor performance. Chris Evans’ villainy more than makes up for Gosling’s listless heroism. Evans is wicked and wacky, naughty and sinister.It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say his performance is a few notches beyond the film’s content which tends to lean too heavily towards visual hijinks .
Probing the human psyche is not what the Russo Brothers are known for although they have directed a thoughtptovoking film called Cherry in which Tom Holland played a drug addict who robs banks to sustain his needs. The co-directors try for a bit of emotional heft by going into Gosling’s violent childhood and his cutely sentimental relationship with the beautiful Julia Butters whom he must protect from his colleagues at the CIA.
The very talented Alfred Woodard leaps out of the screen in a powerful cameo as a woman who knows how to be gutsy when all fails.
All in all The Gray Man is a terrific action drama mounted on a scale that that make us wonder what the Russo brothers would attempt next!
As for Dhanush’s cameo, it is brief enough to qualify as a guest appearance and nothing in terms of length and impact when compared with Randeep Hooda in the Russo Brothers’ Extraction.