action movie freak    
The Gray Man 2022 movie poster






"I get the big one."

(22 July 2022)  Action | Thriller

Writers  Joe Russo, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeeley
Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Second Unit Director Spiro Razatos

Stunt Coordinator: Second Unit Jack Gill

This IS the big one.
If you didn't LOVE this movie, you don't like Action Movies. Jack Gill killed with the Action!  #StandUpForStunts  I 'get' this one. It delivered, and how!!

I cannot understand the negative scuttlebutt on this movie. This movie is FUCKING AWESOME.

The Gray Man 2022 alternate movie posterThe Grey Man 2022 EMPIRE magazine coverIt seems to have an image problem, beginning with the poster. The official posters suck (yeah all of them). Even the usually exciting EMPIRE cover is blah. I like what someone did with this poster. I wouldn't like it if I was Ryan Gosling but at least it represents the relentless action of the film a little bit. It could have had such an exciting poster! The one chosen looks too much like just another spy Drama. This Action Movie is so much more.

So what are people looking for in an Action Movie that they can't find in this one . . .?! Beats me. To quote Samuel L. Jackson "Action Movie, Motherfucker."

It's got EVERYTHING! Even from the opening scene dialogue, the writing is good. When the Action starts (almost immediately) it never lets up and keeps getting more and more exciting and dangerous.

Let's prove it has everything with my Action Movie Essentials checklist:

  • A Big Beefy Hero  It has more than one! When a movie has Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, shut up and eat your awesome. Plus Ana de Armas kicking ass, plus Dhanush, plus, plus . . . All of them are so excellent in their roles you can't take your eyes off the screen. Their chemistry is great.

  • Who's on the Right Side They do a great job of making Ryan Gosling's character sympathetic. This goes a long way to understanding why he's such a bad ass, and what his motivations are. In some ways, it's Aliens and his paternal instincts kick in to protect a version of his younger self.

  • With Skills MAD skills and hats off to Ryan Gosling for selling it. Everyone in this movie with action in a scene is pushing it to the limits. If you weren't already impressed with Ana de Armas after No Time To Die, you should be now. A couple times, Gosling's character uses appearing to be non-threatening to lull his captors into a false sense of security. Loved that. If you think someone's napping, you don't expect instant-attack readiness. The moment you think he's the most harmless is the moment he's most lethal. This is all in the writing, folks, so don't discount writing for action! The way Ryan fought reminded me of a Donnie Yen movie.

  • Who Makes a BIG DOG Entrance  In a way . . . he's a "FLORIDA Man" LOL.

The Gray Man 2022 FLORIDA State Prison

  • Explosions and Chases There's PLENTY of explosions. They even use colored smoke (and lighting) throughout (fireworks, flare guns, a fire extinguisher, etc.) to great effect (try to look past your stupid knee-jerk reaction that they are trying to 'hide' anything and just appreciate the artistry). The location of the first big fight is so creative, it's 'explosive'. There's even a crash that you might think you've seen before in a Mission: Impossible e or Fast & Furious movie but that thought should disintegrate as fast as the plane. This is epic effects/epic stunt work. We take way too much for granted. Appreciate, people!

  • Boy Toys-Gadgets, Weapons, Vehicles, and the always-welcome-bonus: Weapons mounted on Vehicles :). There are a a wide range of vehicles used and destroyed. Too many to list. This fight-or-flight/flight-inducing reveal below reminded me of the big gun scene in Rambo. If I was there in real life, this would have been the come-to-Jesus moment for me. What the hell kind of weapon is that?! (I checked but they have not done their thing—yet, hopefully they will.

The Gray Man double barrel gun

  • A Close-Quarters Fight Several, and some great knife fights. I thought the fight choreography was excellent and the actors really sold it. Ryan Gosling was way better than I expected. Comparisons will be made to John Wick and they are deserved. He handled himself. He looked super beefy, and there was never a moment I didn't think he was up for the task. You can't see the figures in this first shot below but Four and Six are fighting in the purple smoke at the center. How jaded are you if this was not an impressive moment?

The Gray Man fireworks fight scene aerial

You can just see Six in red being chased by Four.

The Gray Man fireworks fight scene aerial

Again, just a split-second shot, but moments like this took my breath away . . .

The Gray Man fireworks fight scene sparks above head

  • A High Killcount  And how! The sound of bullets rained like The Matrix marble lobby scene. This movie would be great in surround sound. Before the big gun battle in the square, the killcount is already 30. Six narrowly escapes death at the 53 mark in a scene that brings T3 to mind for a huge crash. I did a conservative estimate and it came out to 80 total.

  • The Gnarly Kill  You be the judge . . . This was my favorite. You can just make out his head near the pavement at the end.

The Gray Man chase scene with streetcar

The Gray Man chase scene with streetcar SUV crash

The Gray Man chase scene with streetcar SUV flip

  • Trash Talking  The dialog is great. I mean, if the hero and the bad guy have no banter, what are we watching for? Evans keeps running his mouth til the very end. This is Trash Talking with payoffs! Several descriptions of Six really build his character up. Even the fact that they pluck him out of jail is a flex.

  • Cheesy One-Liners  Sprinkled throughout. I kinda think "Just another Thursday" would have made a good title.

  • Camaraderie and Dominance  This movie, from the start, and including the backstory, is all about dominance. Camaraderie plays a big part in the character interaction. The interaction between Dhanush and De Armas, and even the chemistry between Gosling and Evans is great. When they had to bring in whole teams "Alpha", "Bravo", and "Delta" to fight our boy and they were monitored Colonial-Marines-style like this you know the carnage level is off the charts. Plus, they introduce the evil bad ass "Lone Wolf". Love the code names. All the CIA/military jargon, procedures, and the breaking thereof just added to the fun.

The Gray Man 2022 Alpha Bravo Delta online stats check

  • A Whiner  It's a stretch but it could be said the dummy who get shot after asking to be paid was taking a crap the whole time.

  • The RUSH!!  For an Action Movie to be really good, even if it has all the above elements, it still has to have the good guys win and leave you feeling all is right with the world, which this does. And it does such a good job of getting to this point that it seems like the best way. It leaves it open for a part two, and I'm all in!

So, all boxes checked! What is there not to like? #rhetorical because, to quote The Rock, "I don't care what you think!"

Funny/not funny: LOVED how they bring his backstory front and center for the final fight. Talk about a payoff. SERIOUSLY, anybody faulting this movie brought issues to it because it has everything Action AND a good story.

As a bonus, they hop to beautiful exotic locations around the world á la Mission: Impossible.

  • We enter BANGKOK through a haze of fireworks that brought the ending of Woody Allen's epic Manhattan opener to mind (you should watch the whole video—the movie if you never have—but at the 3:00 minute mark if you want to skip to the fireworks). As well as the jellyfish fight scene in Skyfall with the drumbeats. Later, Ana de Armas has a silhouetted fight with the skyline and fireworks in the background of an enormous picture window and for maybe two seconds of footage, it's PF spectacular. The fight on the barge that is shooting the fireworks was really unexpected. Heaping praise on whosever idea that was.

The Gray Man 2022 BANGKOK fireworks opening

  • The location of this house in HONG KONG is breathtaking as are the views! Giving Michael-Bay-rubbing-it-in-our-face-on-social-media-places-only-he-can-afford-to-stay-while-working vibes. And at night, even more beautiful. What they do with lighting here, again, even during a fight scene, super creative.

The Gray Man 2022 Fitzroy House in HONG KONG

  • This "Croatian" castle ( (Chateau de Chantilly, France) is a Lifestyles-of-the-Rich-and-Famous kind of vibe, and at night, the Skyfall helicopter attack. This armored patrol boat and helicopter really looked out of place and therefore more menacing.

The Gray Man 2022 Crotian Castle

The Gray Man 2022 Crotian Castle at night

Virgina farm location from The Gray Man 2022

  • "The CIA in Langley, Virgina?" line from the first Mission: Impossible came to mind when I saw this last location. What a beautiful house. I really want movies to take me to beautiful places I've never been, and this movie more than delivered.

I think the most enjoyable thing of all, and unexpected (a little, I mean he is a great actor) was how effective Ryan Gosling was as Six. His character is not always in control, but it's what he does with what happens to him that makes him exceptional. And what Ryan Gosling did with this role is make him relatable without going overboard. He was barely emotional. Even a scintilla more would have rung false. I think it worked because from the start you could see the pain in his eyes. He was the character. Now I gotta add him to the Bad Ass list!



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