The Gray Man - Movie Review

Dhanush appears briefly in the film “The Gray Man”, his first Hollywood outing but creates an impact with the morality the character displays. The Netflix movie was released on Fri. 21 Jul. 2022.

. Mark Greaney’s novel by the same name has been adapted in to a film which has been bankrolled by the Russo Brothers company AGBO and released worldwide (sic) on Netflix. The film stars Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Jessica Henwick and pan-Indian star Dhanush among a host of characters. The film opens up in a prison in the US in the year 2003 when a CIA agent Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton) accosts a lifetime prisoner (Ryan Gosling) and asks him to operate as a mercenary, taking directions from the agency to “complete tasks” from time to time by the high command. He is code named Sierra Six, perhaps indicating the number of predecessors he has. Cut to 2021, the scene is now set in Bangkok where Agent Six has to kill a supposed traitor who is sharing critical and confidential information pertaining the country to outsiders. When the task is done, Six realises that his target was none other than Agent Four. 

Denny Carmichael (Rege Jean Page) is the Boss at CIA and mixes professional pursuits with his personal vendetta and Agent Four gets hold of some of this critical information. He follows it up with extraction, blackmail and eventually becomes the target leading to his own death. Before passing away, he shares a pendrive with all the critical information to Six. Denny wants the asset - pendrive back in his custody and deploys a private security agent Lloyd Hansen, a psychopathic former CIA agent. When Agent Suzanne Brewer (Jessica Henwick) of the CIA argues with Denny for this stupid manoeuver, he belittles her for the efforts the Agency puts up to capture Six. 

What follows is a non-stop 60 minute chase - mid air, with a plane breaking in to two pieces, a car chase in the city centre of Prague followed by a tram train chase - all which lead to loss of lives including police and civilians. I guess this is where “Fiction” is overtaken by “creative liberties” of the cinema industry. Either they had to show account for spending the USD 200 mn which went in to its production or the actors wanted to have a field day in the shooting spots. What follows is a bit of drama, exchange of some powerful dialogues and how Six retrieves his hostage, Claire Fitzroy (Julia Butters), the niece of his godfather Don. Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) has very little role in the movie, except for her escapades with Six in some of the car chase scenes. 

Indian actor Dhanush has a very small role - Avik San - the trusted Tamil friend of Lloyd who retrieves the pendrive from Agent Six after an worldclass fight scene and hands it over to his master. Only when he realises that their intentions are not moral, he decided not only to take the money but also ensured they are finished off. The film portrays a grey picture on CIA, which is notorious for undertaking many such undercover acts, which we mostly get to see in movies and nothing beyond. A good weekend watch. 


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