The Gray Man

Sierra Six is an operative who works for the CIA in undercover missions, an assassin employed to get rid of the targets deemed inconvenient to the Agency. Sentenced to decades in prison at a very young age, he was rescued from prison and trained for this job by agent Donald Fitzroy, but in recent years has been marginalized by the rampant Denny Carmichael. Now Sierra Six works for him, who doesn’t appreciate the Sierra program and in fact sends the agent to eliminate one of his precursors, Sierra Four. However, the latter gives him a USB stick containing information that could compromise Carmichael, who starts a manhunt against the Sierra Six without limits, hiring the eccentric and psychopathic Lloyd Hansen.
A spy plot reduced to a minimum for an action blockbuster, which only takes off in the second part, when he renounces any pretense of plot to dive into explosions, fisticuffs and shootings with a high rate of destruction.
The main set piece takes place in the center of Prague, where three assassination squads converge to kill the Sierra Six, devastating the city without hesitation with heavy weapons and derailed trams. It won’t go better in the end at an impressive Croatian castle (which is actually the Ch√Ęteau de Chantilly in France), where the explosions will multiply. If these scenes have the electrifying excitement of losing control and total renunciation of realism, as is more frequently found in Asian action cinema, the first part of the film instead struggles a bit to get off the ground. There are action scenes right away, even in glamorous settings like smack in the middle of a fireworks rig in Saigon, but they’re short, sometimes confusing, and the fight lacks the choreography of real action stars.
An exception in this sense is the clash with an unnamed hit man of Tamil origin, played by the Bollywood actor Dhanush. Unfortunately, the action also lacks brutality, which the Russos had embraced well in their other Netflix production, Tyler Rake. In fact, The Gray Man complies with the PG-13 censorship canons and, despite the abuse of automatic and edged weapons, is almost bloodless.
The two brothers thus return to the parts of Captain America: The Winter Soldier with blaring action and a protagonist who is no less unstoppable than a superhero. It is no coincidence that Chris Evans is also part of the game, but in the countercasting he plays the mustachioed villain Lloyd, eccentric and amused by his own delusion of omnipotence. Between torture, hand-to-hand combat and the supervision of reckless metropolitan catastrophes, Evans gives the idea of having a good time in a contagious way. Ryan Gosling, on the other hand, is usually not very expressive, but the film is not called The Gray Man by chance and implies that the protagonist has been gradually inhibited from emotional transport, during his tragic childhood and then subsequent training.

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