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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

The Gray Man

If you are a fan of Jason Bourne and James Bond movies then you need to check out "The Gray Man", the new action thriller starring Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans. The film is based on a 2009 novel of the same name and tells how a prisoner (Gosling), convicted on murder, is recutired by CIA operative Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) to work in the organiztions assassin program named Sierra. Gosling's character agrees to be part of the program in order to gain his freedom and is named Sierra Six. The first mission Six is sent on takes him to Bangkok where he is to assassinate a man suspected of selling national security secrets. The mission goes south when Six has to attack the target directly due to many civilians being in his way. When Six and his target fight, the target reveals he is also part of the Sierra program, and gives him an encrypted drive containing evidence against some members of the CIA. When Six contacts Center Chief and head of the Sierra operation Denny Carmichael (Rege-Jean Page), he brushes off Six. Suspicious of Carmichael's reaction, Six sends the drive to the home of retired handler Margaret Cahill (Alfre Woodard), who now lives in Prague. Six contacts Fitzroy in order to be extracted from the mission, but the extraction hits a snag after Fitzroy's niece Claire (Julia Butters) is kidnapped by former CIA agent Lloyd Hansen (Evans) in order to force Six to hand over the drive. Hansen was kicked out of the CIA due to his sociopathic tendencies, so he is not dealing with the most stable man to deal with. Hansen forces Fitzroy to put out a hit notice on Six in order to save his life and that of his niece, who are being held in a mansion in Croatia. Meanwhile, Six is ordered to Vienna to receive documents, where he is betrayed by his contact, but is rescued and taken captive by CIA field agent Dani Miranda (And de Armas), who is trying to repair her reputation with the organization after mishandling Six's mission in Bangkok. While they are together, Six convinces Miranda the contents of the drive show Carmichael to be corrupt due to abusing his position in the CIA for his own purposes. After the two visit Cahill's home, an attack on them is thwarted, and the two escape and are on the run. However, a mercenary named Lone Wolf (Dhanush) manages to steal the drive from the fleeing duo and deliver it to Hansen. The aforementioned action set the stage for a visit to the mansion in Croatia in order to save Fitzroy and Claire and retrieve the drive. As if the action up to this point hasn't already been fast and furious (sorry!), it really kicks into overdrive when Six and Miranda take on Hansen and his crew at the mansion. As with any good story the good guys win, but I will not say how or what becomes of the characters, other than to say they get the ending each of the desirves. The ending does set up a possible sequel, and I would love to see more films featuring Gosling as Six. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo ("Avengers: End Game") keep the action popping, and there is rarely time to catch your breath, which I loved. The actors are all wonderful in their respective roles, and Gosling is a perfect action star, even though he is playing the role of Ken in the now filming live-action "Barbie" movie. In this film he is even once referred to as a "Ken doll" (hint hint lol). As for Evans, the former Captain America, is equally adept at playing a villian, and his character is one you will love to hate. The only issue I have with Evans is he was competing for attention with his mustache. While it certainly added to the annoyance of his character, he needs never to sport one in real life without a beard. "The Gray Man" is a fun action thriller, featuring a combination of great acting, exciting chases, exotic locations, creative camera angles, and surprising plot twists. I highly recommend this film to fans of the action genre. Now playing on Netflix and in limited theaters. (Rated PG-13)



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