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The Gray Man


JohnC
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I thought this was entirely serviceable. Decent stunts and set pieces, undermined by ridiculously obnoxious “look at me” drone shots, and a shite macguffin. Main three cast were fun, but a shame that Billy Bob was rather under-used.

 

Inoffensive 6.5/10.

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14 hours ago, sandman said:

I think the Russo Brothers are incredibly overrated. I’ve only loved one of their films (Infinity War) with the rest being good at best 


When people rave about Winter Soldier being a step above the rest I honestly wonder whether I saw the same film. I was going to say the best thing the Russo’s have ever done is still the original paintball episode of Community, but I’ve just checked and that was actually Justin Lin. 

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Someone said this reminded them of metal gear solid on a fan page…I had my motivation to watch before,

 

Anyone notice the trend of these Netflix 200m movies…they all seem like the sort of shit Bruce Willis was doing for an easy pay day…but they’re getting big name directors and stars…

 

Plus they always seem to involve an ex-cia or government guy as the main character….very generic…

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This was fucking terrible. Quite watchable, but terrible. Like none of it made sense terrible.

 

- how is a 35 year old head of the CIA?

- why does Reggie Jean-page always seem to be starting into the distance, like he wants to fuck it

- how would chris evans character - who has a mere 6 months military experience and a total disregard of loyalty - ever hope to command what would best be described as a private army?

- why did they hole up in the worlds biggest castle to defend themselves?

- Why does pacemaker have GPS built into it

- Why were the two perimeter guards at the castle just standing there with a literal box full of grenade launchers and rpg’s.

- just why

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There is a real hard on for us military revenge flicks just now.  Ones of right questionable morality as well.  The terminal list is just like this, nothing really makes sense.  People are bad guys for no reason.  I've killed 100 plus people for no reason but a 'child' is captive?  Time for another 3 digit body count of former friends and allies.  

 

This is watchable because a lot of stuff happens at a good pace but it got nothing at all underneath.

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This was pretty dull.

 

The main lead was a charisma vacuum as usual. Worked in Blade Runner but not here.

 

Even Billy Bob was boring.

 

The action scenes made the average Marvel Film look like a Micheal Bay spectacle.  

 

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On 24/07/2022 at 11:53, CarloOos said:


When people rave about Winter Soldier being a step above the rest I honestly wonder whether I saw the same film. I was going to say the best thing the Russo’s have ever done is still the original paintball episode of Community, but I’ve just checked and that was actually Justin Lin. 

 

I think The Winter Soldier is fantastic and done with so much more care and finesse than this. I'm suprised a simular type of film by the same directors fell flat like this. At least you can see the action in their Marvel films, even the ones with a fuck ton of things happening like Infinity War. The camera is just flying around everywhere, with random angles and loads of cuts. I checked out of nearly every set piece. It's derivative shite and the script is not good.

 

Although now it's making me worry if I watch their Marvel work again, am I going to spot all the same things I didn't like on this, in those films.

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It's a forgettable flick. My biggest beef is how poorly shot some of the action scenes were. The plane sequence is particularly bad. Extraction and especially The Night Comes For Us were much better action movies. I even enjoyed the one that starred Chris Hemsworth's wife more. 

 

I do like that Netflix is pumping money in original action movies though as John Wick and Mission Impossible are basically the only great action franchises in cinemas these days.

 

Looking forward to Extraction 2, Day Shift and especially Gareth Evans' Havoc further down the line.

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Funny review on Pajiba 

 

https://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/netflixs-the-gray-man-squanders-ryan-goslings-formidable-comedy-chops.php

 

Quote

Let’s take a step back for a minute and consider Ryan Gosling. A horrible, unsavory task, I know, but follow me into the fray if you have the stomach for it. Ryan Gosling. An actor who in many people’s heads probably still exists to fill the roles of characters who might be described as tough, laconic men of quick violence but who also happen to possess hidden reservoirs of feeling and a compelling aura of pathos. Which is entirely fair, considering that he’s one of the best contemporary actors to fill that niche. What’s less often mentioned, though, is just how incredible his comedic chops can be.

 

There’s something about the way he subverts that tough guy image; the manner in which he can convey annoyance, confusion, and mischievous glee; and the volumes of expression found in those sleepy eyes. I’ve covered this topic at length in my effusive piece on his performance in The Nice Guys so I won’t repeat myself more here. Suffice it to say Gosling’s comedy skills are formidable, and the few highlights found in The Gray Man stem from there.

 

The trouble is that it’s painfully clear how much heavy lifting Gosling is doing in the film in order to achieve these infrequent moments of relative quality. You can practically hear the foundations of the script and direction straining against the skill the actor brings, his instincts, timing, and delivery elevating material that would otherwise be irredeemable. It’s never a great sign when a film cries out ‘Why won’t you let us be rubbish?!’ in protest against its cast.

 

Chris Evans, too, tries to make something out of nothing here. Evans is an actor who is at his best when playing characters so smug and overflowing with raw douchebag energy that you want to slap your screen, and here he gets to lean into that. He’s a fun villain to watch. 

 

Half way through the film I had an urge to sleep so did. I don't mind light throwaway action, I liked Red Notice. But that committed to its silliness more. Its opening action was telling you; yeah we're doing the Ryan Reynolds sarcastic snark again. The opening of The Gray Man is trying to be more John Wick isn't it, it is clear that there's some intent to try, with the directors thinking a fight during a fireworks celebration is an interesting twist. It's not because it's just a temporary visual thing, the fighting isn't thrilling or inventive, and it's all so brief and unsatisfying.

 

I just want action films, especially $200m ones, to try to come up with scenes we've not seen before. Bond had any number of stunts no one had seen before, True Lies had a chase between Arnie on a horse and the terrorist on a motorbike, through a hotel. The fighter jet bit at the end.

 

This continues the attempt at John Wick cool throughout it seems in its action, obscuring it in different ways, the smoke on the plane just getting in the way, and that altogether being a familiar action scene we've seen half a dozen times by now. The one take camera spinning making it unclear to see, and you're not remotely involved anyway because it just cuts to Gosling on the plane and it's not surprising Billy Bob would sacrifice him to save his niece. It'd only seem to work for kids who haven't seen all of this done better dozens of times but I think even 13 year olds will be thinking the explosion on a plane, grab the parachute of someone falling is old hat.

 

And how many locations would they like to boast about, done in that boringly familiar way with large bold text on screen, completely pointless because you never spend any time there anyway. They don't mean anything. It's kind of incredible how bad some films can be when they neglect the script, neglect any purpose, realism, sense, it's like someone trying to wing a new job not knowing what they're doing but how do you just disguise 2 hours worth of shite. Everyone vividly knows what quality is. 

 

I just watched Cry Macho before this and it's unbelievable how bad it is. The worst acting I've ever seen by the kid, with some of the worst dialogue. There's always been bad films, but has there ever been so many with as much money and talent attached as recently. 

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For the apparently huge masses of people begging for more of this, the Russo Bros have announced the GMCU just for you:

 

Quote

 

Netflix and AGBO are also developing a Gray Man spinoff, also based on the book series. They are keeping the specifics under wraps but they’ve got Deadpool and Zombieland scribes Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese aboard as the screenwriters.

 

Here, Joe and Anthony Russo describe the future plans for AGBO’s second Netflix franchise — the Extraction sequel with Chris Hemsworth is locked — and also pivoting from directing the second-biggest-grossing film of all time in Avengers: Endgame to making a movie just as ambitious, for an entirely different model.

 

DEADLINE: This quickly is evolving into a universe, after so many tried to turn The Gray Man into an event film before you guys made it happen. Describe what you’ll do going forward.

 

JOE RUSSO: The sequel will be inspired by the Mark Greaney novel. Translating from one medium to another often requires interpretation, but we have an incredible amount of source material from an amazing offer. We’ll draw on that for the sequel.

 

DEADLINE: What can you say about the spinoff?

 

JOE RUSSO: Wernick and Reese will write the spinoff and we’re going to do something a little more edgy and experimental with that.

 

DEADLINE: What does that mean?

 

JOE RUSSO: It means that one will be a hard R. Can’t say more at this point.

 

 

https://deadline.com/2022/07/netflix-joe-anthony-russo-and-ryan-gosling-are-all-in-on-the-gray-man-as-sequel-spinoff-in-the-works-interview-1235077926/

 

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Great cast, decent enough setup/plot but entirely ruined by zoom all over the place camera work/editing and CGI filled hard to follow/dumb action scenes. The whole sequence in the Prague square could have been so good, but was just a mess by the end. Makes you realize how good M.I. and some of the Bourne/Bond movies are.

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This needed less CGI and a harder rating. The bloodless violence is really tame and unsatisfying and at odds with the CIA / NFL / NBA wetwork 'serious adult subject matter stuff'.

 

Still, i was never totally bored and Gosling is always watchable with good comic timing. It's a shame the Nice Guys flopped as i'd much rather have been watching a sequel to that instead.

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So primarily out of morbid curiosity I watched this. It is the very definition of Netflix out of Ten.

 

The primary problem is that for a film about a badass assassin, the action is fairly anemic. The Russos can't even match Michael Bay as action film directors. You compare this to the way cheaper to make Bourne or John Wick Trilogies and it's not even close in terms of filmmaking quality.

The mild stunt casting they seem to do is also about as non-shoehorned as the stuff Hollywood does to appeal to certain key markets.

 

Let's see how the planned R-rated spin-off goes, as then they go up against the real heavy hitters in this genre.

 

Netflix, spend less and do better, or does practically every single film maker do a Netflix gig because it's effectively a jolly for them where they can hand in any old half-arsed effort and be paid handsomely without having to deliver a result somebody would actually spend money on if you had to pay for it individually, certainly seems that way.

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