The Movie Waffler Is It Worth Watching Netflix’s New “The Grey Man?” | The Movie Waffler

Is It Worth Watching Netflix’s New “The Grey Man?”

Is It Worth Watching Netflix’s New “The Grey Man?”

Netflix has been in the news a lot recently — mostly in the financial section, not entertainment. The streaming behemoth’s stock price has fallen sixty percent from previous highs and betting markets on BetOnline thinks it can fall even lower. 

Now more than seemingly ever, Netflix needs a “hit” to stop subscribers from churning and gaining new ones. Stranger Things' latest season proved to be a hit but now Netflix is banking on a brand-new movie, The Grey Man, to be its next. The new flick, which cost over $200 million, to produce is out as of July 22 and this is your complete look at it. By the end of it — without revealing spoilers — you’ll know whether it’s worth watching or not. 

Ryan Gosling stars as The Grey Man’s main character, “Sierra Six.” In the movie, Gosling does what he usually does — looks cool and kicks ass.
Image courtesy of Netflix

Quick Plot Summary

If James Bond and Jason Bourne had a baby, it would be The Grey Man. By that alone, you can guess this is an action-packed spy thriller. The story follows a highly-trained “secret” assassin who does the CIA’s dirty work. He ends up falling out of favor with the CIA after discovering incriminating information on his employers. Sure enough, the CIA launches an all-out manhunt, dotting the world in the process, to have him killed. 

The plot borrows elements from other popular action movies of modern times. The globe-trotting ways of James Bound. The bring-the-corrupt-system down ethos of Jason Bourne. And the worldwide bounty-hunting adventure of John Wick. Are you sold yet?  

On-Screen Star Power 

More than anything else, this movie is driven by its on-screen talent. It’s a who’s-who list of A-listers including Ryan Gosling (the protagonist), Ana De Armas (the sidekick), and Chris Evans (the antagonist). 

For Gosling and De Armas, it’s a reunion after starting in Blade Runner 2049 five years ago. Their chemistry in this movie isn’t as strong, but then again, the script doesn’t allow for it. The main star, Gosling, once again plays an ambiguous character that prefers speaking with actions rather than words — a la the aforementioned Blade Runner and Drive. Here again, he delivers in the role. 

Evans plays the coo-coo villain of the movie, tasked with bringing Gosling in by any means necessary — literally as his ethics are nonexistent as the script reminds us multiple times. It’s a sharp departure from Evan’s most famous role, Steve Rogers aka Captain America. 

The supporting cast includes Billy Bob Thornton, who makes his first film appearance since 2018. Bollywood star Dhanush also makes his Hollywood debut. Jessica Henwick and Rege-Jean Page also star to round out the big-name cast, which surely ate up a huge chunk of the $200-million-dollar project

Surrounding Touches

The third biggest selling point of the movie — after its A-list cast and action-packed plot line — is the film's directors. It’s made by the Russo brothers, Anthony and Joe. That surely will appease the Marvel diehards as the brothers directed four different MCU films, including The Avengers. 

The Russo brothers also earned writing and producing credits on the flick. However, we should mention, this is a book adaptation. The original Grey Man novel was written by Mark Greaney in 2009 and spawned 11 sequels. 

As we mentioned before, the plot treks throughout the world, mostly Europe and Asia. The movie features several set pieces in Bangkok, Berlin, Prague, and Vienna, among many others. The Russo brothers douse these settings in color. There’s neon-lit nightclubs, a massive firework show (with a fight in the base where the explosions are going off), and a green-grassed maze (with another fight inside of it). 

One of the film’s biggest action set pieces takes place on the streets of Prague and involves a moving train dashing through the city. 
Image courtesy of Netflix

Final Verdict

So is the movie worth spending two hours on (the runtime is 129 minutes)? Well, yes and no.

If you’re a self-appointed critic, this might not be for you. The movie doesn’t exactly take itself seriously — at one point Gosling is called Ken, a character he will soon play in Barbie. Because of that, the action and acting is all over the top, perhaps even cheesy for the most critical film lovers. 

However, if you prefer “popcorn” movies, then this will be right up your alley. The star power is fun to observe, the visuals are pretty, and most of all, the constant action will stop you from ever thinking of clicking away. Watch this if you need a two-hour “escape” from real life.