Unlike most Pajibans, I loathe Drive. I find it pretentious nonsense, an exercise in boredom and futility featuring the least intimidating lead actor to ever play a tough guy. Liam Neeson’s arthritis-riddled joints are more terrifying than Ryan Gosling’s ridiculous leather jacket. There are grade-schoolers playing G.I. Joe on the playground who exude more menace. And it’s not that I don’t like Baby Goose. The Nice Guys is one of my favorite movies. He’s just better suited for the dissolute, alcoholic detective than the tough guy. That said, The Gray Man is doing its best to change my mind.
I can’t do this clip justice, so here’s the plot summary:
THE GRAY MAN is CIA operative Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling), aka, Sierra Six. Plucked from a federal penitentiary and recruited by his handler, Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton), Gentry was once a highly-skilled, Agency-sanctioned merchant of death. But now the tables have turned and Six is the target, hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a former cohort at the CIA, who will stop at nothing to take him out. Agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) has his back. He’ll need it.
Alright, so, pros and cons. Pro: The Russos and Chris Evans are together again, which is a triad made in heaven. Con: The name Court Gentry is ridiculous. You might as well name him Lord Nobleman. Pro: Chris Evans’ glorious Statie ‘stache. My dude looks like he belongs on the set of the next Super Troopers movie. (Note to Broken Lizard: Please make another Super Troopers movie, and cast Evans as the hotshot new trooper just transferred from the Massachusetts State Police. Masshole arrogance plus Vermont trooper chicanery equals a good time.) Con: It’s on Netflix, which turns most every project into B-movie blandness. See Extraction and Red Notice as evidence. Pro: Chris Evans gets to ham it up as the villain. Pro: Baby Goose’s arms, and action cut to make it look like he can kick ass. Pro: Billy Bob Thornton giving us the silver fox treatment, and the stunning Ana de Armas (Deep Water, Knives Out) costar in the feature. Con: “If you wanna make an omelet, you gotta kill some people” is the worst cooking advice on Netflix since Nadiya Hussain tried to convince us to wash off Spaghetti-Os and mix them with fish on Time to Eat, which … no. Hell no. Absolutely not. It’s such a bad line it belongs in Moonfall, which may actually count as a pro, now that I think about it. It’s precisely the level of stupidity I hope for in my action movies.
The Gray Man arrives on Netflix this July 22. I expect Thor: Love and Thunder will be a far better July blockbuster, but at least this one you can watch in the air-conditioned comfort of your own home.
Header Image Source: Youtube trailer screenshots