Anticipation is high for the Russo Brothers’ latest movie, The Gray Man, and why wouldn’t it be? For one, it’s Anthony and Joe Russo of MCU blockbuster fame directing an all-star cast that includes Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page and more. Also, the story adapted from Mark Greaney’s book series has serious franchise potential (yes, we’re already talking about the possible sequel). Finally, we can’t mention Evans’ classic villain mustache. Netflix’s The Gray Man has screened ahead of its release to the streaming service, so let’s see what the first reactions are to the upcoming action thriller.
Ryan Gosling stars as former CIA Agent Court Gentry, a freelance assassin under the moniker the Gray Man, who is accused of a crime he may not have committed and is forced to go on the run and avoid capture by one of his former colleagues, Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans). The Russo brothers are masters at pairing witty dialogue with intense action sequences, so the banter between the two stars is expected to be highly entertaining. Critic Courtney Howard says The Gray Man fulfills those expectations, with fun performances from both the leading and supporting cast:
.@Russo_Brother’ #TheGrayMan has unrelenting, well-constructed action sequences. Battle of wits, bullets & brawn. Ryan Gosling & @ChrisEvans share excellent repartee (and sleazebag facial hair!). Ana de Armas is badass & beauty. Dhanush’s scenes are ruthless & sharp. pic.twitter.com/aYNmxGpLkgJuly 11, 2022
“Fun” seems to be a theme among those who got an early screening of the big budget action movie. We could see from the ass-kicking trailer that Chris Evans relishes his role as the man directors have called “America’s Asshole.” Germain Lussier says The Gray Man is consistently fun and funny, and if the plot is a little obvious, it’s never not exciting:
The Gray Man is two hours of James Bond meets Fast and Furious. Super exciting action, massive scale & set pieces, solid, self aware performances, consistent laughs, just a whole lot of fun. Gosling and Evans rule, supporting cast great, it’s a little obvious but never boring. pic.twitter.com/hSoTwgCMfAJuly 11, 2022
Matt Neglia of Next Best Picture thinks this is a good popcorn movie, but it might not stand up in direct comparison to other action franchises, despite the talented leads. He also notes that Ana de Armas is a badass:
THE GRAY MAN is a tactically aggressive, assassin action film by the Russo Brothers. Ryan Gosling brings his usual stoic toughness against Chris Evans’ wicked charm. Not as impressive as the Mission: Impossible or John Wick films but still a hefty piece of popcorn entertainment. pic.twitter.com/ggXuErNUYsJuly 11, 2022
This viewer agrees that Ana de Armas is impressive as Dani Miranda and in fact says she and longtime Bollywood actor Dhanush — who is making his Hollywood debut in The Gray Man — steal the whole show:
#TheGrayMan was Top Notch – High Octane – Action scene after scene. @RyanGosling and @ChrisEvans are electric together and the banter is too good! Great features from #AnaDeArmas and @dhanushkraja who completely stole the show. Netflix and @Russo_Brothers best yet. pic.twitter.com/A2KyCbRahhJuly 11, 2022
With The Gray Man going straight to streaming rather than theaters (although it will see a limited theatrical release), Netflix subscribers will have access to what this critic says is the perfect summer movie without having to leave the comfort of their own homes:
“The Gray Man” is 2022’s perfect summer action flick. Adrenaline-fueled & hugely entertaining! Ryan Gosling was badass. I loved every minute of Chris Evans’ delicious ruthlessness. #TheGrayMan #TheGrayManMovie #ChrisEvans #RyanGosling #AnaDeArmas #Netflix #FilmTwitter @netflix pic.twitter.com/hJD64w2kN0July 11, 2022
And while comparisons to other action flicks are to be expected, Joey Morona argues Chris Evans’ level of batshit evil is unrivaled.
IMO #TheGrayMan is gonna get a lot of comparisons to the Bourne franchise, but the action sequences and fight scenes in the @Russo_Brothers’ latest are next-level. Plus those movies never had a villain as bat sh– evil (and funny) as Chris Evans as Lloyd Hansen. 👍🏽👍🏽 pic.twitter.com/JTabHxnKJsJuly 11, 2022
The Gray Man will see a limited theatrical release on Friday, July 15, before debuting on Netflix’s streaming library on Friday, July 22. Be sure to check out some of the other best movies on Netflix while you’re there, and you can also get a jump on planning your next trip to the theater by taking a peek at our 2022 Movie Release Scheduleand even see what films are coming our way in 2023.