‘Grey Man’ is a $200 million homework

What makes a great action movie? If you ask the Russo brothers, the veterans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they might tell you that the best way to get into the great action movie-making complex is to stuff your movie with as many drone shots of non-American cities as possible, then overlay the city’s name – in big, plump white letters of course – On each one.

Or at least it’s hard to imagine that they give any other answer after watching their latest show, a very expensive spy thriller called gray man, which is released on Netflix this weekend. The film follows Six (Ryan Gosling), a smart and charming CIA assassin with a heart of gold who ends up on the run from his wizard after being sent on a mission that reveals his world is not what it seems and so and so blah. blah blah blah – honestly who gives a shit? Trying to explain what this movie is about is a complete waste of time because apparently no one really cares, so why should you? The movie is a trope of plot points and set pieces that have been lifted from every popular action movie made over the past 20 years or so, so if you’ve ever watched any piece from Bourne, James Bond, John Wick, or Mission: Impossible Franchises, you’ve seen I’ve already seen a better version of this movie. There’s a betrayed hero desperately trying to survive while uncovering the truth, a hot lady always leaning back, and an endless stream of grim-faced assassins ready for a close gunfight with both. There is of course a precocious child who needs rescuing, and plenty of comforting banter. God exists Much kidding.

There is a different version of this movie in which all of that could be forgiven. No one is necessarily looking for a big-budget action movie to reinvent the wheel, and if someone wants to throw a lot of money behind a screenplay that had Frankenstein out of other entries in the genre and an eminently charming cast, I’d say go nuts. This is a rubbish flavor that I wouldn’t hesitate to drink. where gray man The failure lies not in its lack of originality, but in its shabby construction. Netflix and the Russo brothers may have made a decent framework for a hit action movie, but then they forgot, you know, put a movie out there.

Which brings us back to all those beautiful drone shots. The characters in this movie travel around the world at a rate that renders concepts like time and space unimportant, and one gets the distinct impression that the primary concern of the people who made this movie was to make sure that everyone watching it understood just how much money it costs. There are, I don’t know, dozens of different working groups scattered about more cities than I care to count, however gray man It managed to be one of the most boring movies I’ve seen this year. Each sequence comes and goes, washed out almost immediately by the next. Any good spy thriller movie depends on its sequence. Every explosion, gunfight, betrayal, and revelation has to be carefully sorted and layered in a way that steadily builds tension and momentum. If you watch Mission: Impossible like trying the tasting menu, with each dish anticipating the next day, then watch it gray man It’s like having every tray at an all you can eat buffet lying on your table at once, as the Russo brothers walk by and shout, Eat it, pigs!

Another thing that makes a good action movie is the ability to really see and understand what’s going on. I don’t think I’ve seen a movie more committed to hiding its activism from the public. Every other fight scene is obscured by smoke from an explosion, smoke from a fire, bright sunrise, flashing flashlight, smoke from a lit torch, and even smoke from a barrage of industrial fireworks. There is fog and mist everywhere, and so many cuts between punches and kicks that I imagine nausea could be a problem for anyone watching in the theater. Then there’s the lack of editing and scene composition, which makes it nearly impossible to understand where any character is in relation to the others during the film’s biggest action sequences. At one point our villain, Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), said, “Oh my God, how hard is it to shoot someone?” During a seemingly endless scene in which 20 gunmen shoot Six while he is handcuffed to a bench in a public square. I was wondering the same thing!

What the Russo brothers don’t seem to understand is that it’s not the number of cities our hero treads on, the number of shootings, or even the size of the explosions that make a great action movie. It’s the little details. It’s the agonizing look on Miles Tellers’ face when the actual fighter jet he’s riding hits the Five Giga; It’s the bloodstains that John McClain’s glass-clad feet leave on a skyscraper window; It’s the brief moment that Tom Cruise pauses to roll his eyes wearily before stabbing his opponent through the bathroom wall. These are all the things that make an action movie feel not only touching, but also something that has already been created with a level of care and attention.

in gray manHowever, the Russo brothers eschew all attention to detail in favor of more and more back-to-back help for their poorly-adjusted blockbuster action sequences, each one filled with a contradictory amount of CGI superhero (maybe that’s what all the smoke was trying to block out). Within the first half hour, you can watch Gosling “jump” from an exploding plane, at which point he transforms into a plastic, rubbery CGI recreation and then, blurred by smoke and computer debris, bounces off a bad guy’s canopy like a video game character. It all made me feel like I was looking at something made the night before, in a hurry and without a care. Maybe I should have turned it off then.

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