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Choose your fighter between Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans: 'The Gray Man' review

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Choose your fighter between Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans: 'The Gray Man' review
Chris Evans in "The Gray Man"
Netflix

MANILA, Philippines — It's the battle of Hollywood hunks between Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans in Netflix's latest feature film "The Gray Man" by the Russo Brothers, directors of the last two "Avengers" movies.

"The Gray Man" follows Gosling's Sierra Six who is on the run after discovering intel that the secret agency he works for is covering up some dirty deeds, prompting a sadistic Lloyd Hansen played by Evans to chase him. It is based on the book of the same name by Mark Greaney. 

With a budget of $200 million (P11 billion), "The Gray Man" is one of Netflix's most expensive movies to date, and the numerous amount of set pieces reflect the cash the streaming platform shelled out for Anthony and Joe Russo.

Having found success with the final two "Captain America" movies — which had Evans as the charming lead — and the last "Avengers" films, some confidence had to be felt in the Russo brothers even after their sub-par "Cherry" from 2021.

And yet, for all the action, and there is so much of it here, there does not seem to be anything new that the numerous action flicks and the different iterations of James Bond have already shown.

Gosling is no stranger to these kinds of movies, having shown his stuff in 2011's "Drive," but his bulked up character needed more personality than the basics needed to root for a protagonist.

Related: Chris Evans, Ryan Gosling face off in exclusive clip for Netflix's 'The Gray Man'

Evans is also no stranger to villainy after "Knives Out." Unlike Gosling, he revels in how evil Hanson is, so one cannot ridicule how offputting his moustache is.

Ana de Armas was severely underused in the last Bond film, "No Time to Die," and, while she had more screentime here as Dani Miranda, her sequence in the former tops everything she does in "The Gray Man."

A good outtake for this is that, being on Netflix, audiences will be able to pause after certain scenes, and they will need to because there is hardly time to breathe — an action sequence picks up just after one ends in quick succession.

These action sequences are great if paced well, the best among them involving Gosling's Six on a train, but the editing and cinematography are at such a breakneck speed that one may forget why they are gripping their seats.

There is not even enough time to enjoy the other stars in "The Gray Man" — Jessica Henwick, Regé-Jean Page, Dhanush, Alfre Woodard, Wagner Moura, and Julia Butters — because of how little or lacking they do. Billy Bob Thornton as senior CIA official Donald Fitzroy somewhat had the best emotional pull.

Netflix put a lot into "The Gray Man" in the hopes of kickstarting a new franchise. The active drone shots and numerous locations also speak to a high budget, but in the end, it may just become another action film that falls victim to its algorithm.

RELATED: Chris Evans: It’s fun to play the villain

ACTION MOVIE

ANA DE ARMAS

ANTHONY AND JOE RUSSO

CHRIS EVANS

NETFLIX

RYAN GOSLING

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