The Gray Man is a 2022 Netflix action/thriller film and perhaps the most refreshing movie we have watched this year. It’s jam-packed with sizzling action, hilarious dialogue, and intense action sequences the likes of which video games envy. The Gray Man is directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo. The movie is based on Mark Greaney’s book ‘The Gray Man’. You can get the book, which is a tie-in of the movie here.
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Rescued from the Pit
Sierra Six, played by Ryan Gosling, is rescued from prison by the CIA who recruit him into the Sierra program. Sierra is an elite shadow unit of the CIA made up of talented ex-cons who make great assets. Six is recruited by Fitzroy, played by Billy Bob Thornton, and trained to become one of the best. He becomes a Gray Man, as Sierra agents are loosely referred to as.
The Gray Man
Six is sent to Bangkok to nab a rogue agent who’s only identified as the ‘bad guy’. The CIA boss that sends him there, Denny Carmichael, played by Regé-Jean Page, wants something retrieved and the ‘bad guy’ taken out. Six is sent, despite Denny’s disdain of the Gray Men, as he is the one who’s close to the target. The target is hot and the agency has to nab him in time before he vanishes.
Evidence on a Drive
What Six is sent to retrieve is a thumb drive that the rogue agent was said to have stored stolen intel in, and was selling to the highest bidder. Six goes after the bad guy and gets him despite going ‘loud’ which is essentially causing a scene and spectacle.
When he nabs the bad guy and puts a bullet in him, the bad guy tells him that he’s Sierra Four and gives him the drive, housed in a medallion. Four instructs him that the drive contains incriminating evidence against Denny and that he should now carry on the cause, which is bringing the information and evidence out.
Six grapples with what Four told him and eventually believes him and vanishes with the drive. During the mission, he is helped by Dani Miranda, played by Ana De Armas. He quickly skirts her and the cleanup team and heads into hiding. He makes a fool of Denny and doesn’t tell him whether he took the drive or not when asked.
Fitz to the Rescue
Six gets in touch with his handler Fitzroy and enquires about who Four was. Fitz confirms that indeed the ‘bad guy’ was Sierra Four. Four had told Six that Fitz was his recruiter and so when Fitz confirmed that that was Four, Six knew he was on to something.
Lloyd Hansen, played by Chris Evans, is sent to retrieve the drive and hunt for Six. Denny sends Suzanne Brewer, played by Jessica Henwick, to ‘sit’ on Lloyd which is to essentially babysit him. Lloyd, however, is a crackhead and sociopath who’s a CIA contractor and former agent who was kicked out of the agency for his bad morals and crazy antics.
A Hit Out on Six
Lloyd quickly puts a hit out on Six. Six had cleverly sent the drive to Margaret Cahill, played by Alfre Woodard, and did not have it in his person. He’s rescued out of a bind by Dani and the two head to Prague to get the drive from Cahill.
Cancer by the Minute
Margaret Cahill is on her deathbed. She has three months to live but had been strong enough to check her mail. She and Fitz were the pioneers, recruiters, and trainers for the Sierra program. Six trusts her and on asking, she reveals that she cracked the drive’s encryption. She is dying of cancer by the minute but hasn’t lost her metal.
The drive, Margaret reveals, contains evidence that Four gathered about Denny Carmichael’s sins. In what appears like a shadow government type of conspiracy, Denny had been putting out hits and even bombings. Margaret suspects that he has a guardian angel who’s sanctioning the operations and covering his butt. Cahill also says that the drive cannot be copied saying “It’s a dead disk. You copy it, you encrypt the encryption”. On that note, read about the Pegasus spyware.
Alpha, Bravo, and Delta Out
By this time, Lloyd had kidnapped Fitz’s niece, Claire, played by Julia Butters, and Fitz himself. He had been torturing Fitz and found out where the drive had been sent by Six. Lloyd then sent out three hit teams to Prague, to Cahill’s apartment where Six, Dani, and Margaret herself were. Lloyd also ups the ante and adds a $10 million bounty on Six’s head. However, Six and Dani take the 30-man squads Alpha, Bravo, and Delta out.
My Tamil Friend
Once Lloyd realizes that the three hit squads are no more, he lowers his head in disappointment. Suzanne is by now screaming at him. She calls the operation a spectacular failure and that it would likely be taught in schools as a “primary example of how not to retrieve an asset”. However, Dhanush, played by Avik San, messages on the radio and says that he’s on target to nab Six and get the drive. Lloyd is happy to hear him and calls him “My Tamil Friend”.
The Castle in Croatia
Dhanush manages to get the drive from Six and both he and Dani fail to stop him. Not for a lack of trying though but because Six throws Dani an unloaded gun that has no bullets and can’t shoot by the time she gets to Dhanush. He escapes with the drive and delivers it to Lloyd in the Castle in Croatia.
Six and Dani go to the castle after they find out that it’s where Claire is being held. Claire has a medical pacemaker installed on her heart and Six and Dani track it by getting the serial number. At the castle, Six manages to get to Fitz and Claire, and while escaping, Fitz is hit.
Out like the Gray Man
They have to go fast though and Claire is torn after she sees Fitz out; who goes by way of a grenade. He pretends to be dead and detonates the grenade when Lloyd and his men come close. Lloyd, however, survives. Even so, Fitz goes out like the Gray Man would, with his pride intact and with one last word “Boring”. That’s what Lloyd says when torturing his captives.
Dani and Dhanush face off as Dhanush has retaken the drive. The two fight and nearly choke each other with a wire on opposite sides of a table. Dhanush, however, gives up the drive after discovering that Lloyd has kidnapped a girl and was planning to kill her. He gives Dani the drive and says “these people have no honor”.
The Battle of the Fountain
Lloyd gets hold of Claire and disappears with her into a hedge maze on the castle’s grounds. Six is quickly in pursuit and when he gets there is asked by Lloyd whether he wants to dance i.e fight man to man. By now Dani is on a window in the castle, scoping Lloyd out for a clear line of sight and a shot. Six, however, calls her off and when Lloyd releases Claire, Six asks Dani to come get her. Six and Lloyd then go on to the battle of the fountain.
The Ambitious Brewer
Suzanne Brewer breaks Six and Lloyd off by shooting Lloyd in the chest. Lloyd dies and she tells Six that he’ll take the fall for the entire operation posthumous. Six is told also that he’ll have to corroborate the story and probably get some jail time so as to ensure that Claire is safe and unharmed by her and the CIA. Six is taken away to a secure medical facility. Dani and Claire are also taken away. The drive is recovered and taken to Carmichael who destroys it. He, however, doesn’t buy Brewer’s narrative of events and discovers that he underestimated the ambitious Brewer.
Play Me Loud
Six escapes, however, and goes to rescue Claire. Dani, Suzanne, and Denny are cleared by their bosses after the “Lloyd went rogue” story is bought by the higher-ups. Six goes on to where Claire is held and leaves her a note in her room, put in the case of a record. The note reads “Play me loud”. Six takes the entire security team out and rescues Claire who they then drive off into the sunset with. Like he’s fond of saying, to him “It’s just another Thursday”. Totally something the Gray Man would say.
The Gray Man is definitely the best movie we have watched this year. It’s also the most refreshing. Yes, I know ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ is out but we haven’t watched it yet. Even so, I doubt it is as refreshing and good as The Gray Man. Needless to say, we give The Gray Man 9.5/10 for its thrilling action sequences, natural humor, and hilarious dialogues. The film is also beautifully shot and in such a fast-paced way, especially during action sequences. It feels like a 2030 movie and we absolutely loved it. Be sure to also get The Gray Man books and dive into the fascinating story. Enjoy and stay tuned for more Movie Reviews.
Is the Gray Man Based on a Book?
Is there a Gray Man Part 2?
There will be. Netflix confirmed that a sequel of the Gray Man is in the works with Ryan Gosling, and directed by the Russo brothers, in conjunction with co-writer Stephen McFeely. One of the directors, Joe Russo, also confirmed that the Gray Man Part 2 has been greenlit and will still be based on Mark Greaney’s books. There will also be a spin-off of the movie coming later.
What are the Best Quotes from the Gray Man?
“It’s a dead disk. You copy it, you encrypt the encryption” – Margaret Cahill . Read more on Tech.
‘With this setup, I could read the Pope’s Diary if I wanted to” – treacherous passport forger . Read our thoughts on Immigration.
“Is it too hard to shoot the man handcuffed to a bench!?” – Lloyd Hansen .
“This is perhaps the most spectacular failure in the history of covert ops. It will most likely be taught in schools as a primary example of how not to retrieve an asset” – Suzanne Brewer . Read our exhaustive explainer about the Pegasus Spyware. Remember you can get all the Gray Man novels here. Enjoy.