Preacher Movie review: The Gray Man

Preacher

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Now I might be cheating as I did not go to the theatres to catch this. It has been on my watch list for a while now and the Mrs. and I almost went and watched it on the big screen a week ago. But last night some plans fell through and as I was booting up Netflix this showed up so we watched it in la casa.

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No spoiler so I will give a brief synopsis. The Gray Man is about an operative the CIA uses when the CIA can not use one of their own for those special cases where everyone needs immunity. The Gray Man doesn't exist, he is a ghost.

Six is played by Ryan Gosling and he is the Gray Man. An operative who works for the CIA and is sent in when needed to take care of situations. Now I have been a fan of Gosling for some time and I don't think he gets his just due as an actor. I loved him in "The place beyond the pines" which I thought should have made him a star. But maybe it is the blue eyes, the high cheekbones, the blonde hair, whatever he always seemed to be relegated to the good looking second guy. Even after he showed off his chops in LaLa Land, and his role in the new Blade Runner he always seems to be the poor guys Channing Tatum.
Anyway Ryan does a pretty good job with what he had to work with here. He is buff, brawny, and brainy enough to pull off the super spy genre, other than this seemed more like a Marvel Superhero movie than a spy flick. My wife mentioned time and again how this was being portrayed as a Bond film, from the shots to the music it did feel like James Bond would walk around a corner at any time.
I wish the story was better, there was a lot that the writers and directors could have cut and made a better story by diving a little deeper. But if you like blow em up action, chiseled cut action stars (you get two in this one!), fast cars, big guns and Ana De Armas, this film is for YOU!!!

Lets talk about the directors and writers first. The Russo brothers were both writers and directors for this flick and you can tell. There is a Captain America feel to this film and I kind of wish they had gone a little darker with the material, but I am also sure they wanted a PG13 rating instead of an R rating. I did see that they greenlit a sequel to this film; I kind of hope that they take some time to make some character development that was severely missed in this film. Grade: B+

Ryan Gosling: Ryan plays Six, a CIA rogue operative that handles the stuff that even the CIA doesn't want to handle. As I said, I think he is underrated as an actor and he does play the part of an assassin well. Grade: B

Billy Bob Thornton: Billy plays Fitzroy, Six's handler and recruiter. I am not sure what it is about Billy but he has kind of lost my interests. I am not sure it is enough of a role for him to give his all in and he is kind of relegated to a back up player in this flick. Grade: C-

Chris Evans: Aha the Russo connection. Captain America, uh, sorry about that, Chris Evans plays the bad guy, Lloyd in this flick with his porn 'stache. And Lloyd is not just a bad guy but a psychotic bad guy. I think anyone who grew up with the name of Lloyd probably had his fair share of challenges (like why two Ls? just to confuse the kid in grade school?) and this Lloyd is not immune to challenges in his life. I kind of wish we knew more of Lloyd's back story but this is what makes this film good and not great. You don't get to find out why he is a bad guy, he just is. You don't get to know his reason for being a bad guy, he just is. This is where it pales in comparison to some Bond films, the bad guy is given as much back story as the hero, alas Lloyd does not get this service in this film. BTW kudos for Chris' comedic timing as well. Grade: A-

Ana De Armas: Ana plays Dani and she also suffers from a "what did I do to get here and I don't know where I came from" story line. She plays the femme de fatal and I can tell you she does a great job in the action sequences although it does somewhat pale to her performance in the last Bond film. In the Bond film you are left wanting more of her, in this one she could have just been written out almost all together and replaced with someone else and the film would not have suffered. Again I know she is only working with what she has been given but there was so much more I wanted to find out about her. Grade: C

Dhanush: Who you say? Yep I did not know who he was either, what he did, who he worked for, why he did it and what his deal was but I liked him. This dude is an Indian actor and I think that they could have made a film with just him and made a ton of money. At the end of the film he was the one character that I was most interested about. What was his story? Who did he work for? Was he one of the numbers? Oh yeah, the Russo's did not give anyone a back story so why would we think he would have gotten one. Grade: A

All the other actors: You did OK with what they gave you. B-

So should you see it? If you like spy novels, action movies and movies where 8 gazillion rounds of ammunition are fired at three people and not one of the stars gets hit you should see this. If you get annoyed at a gazillion rounds of ammunition being fired and not one round ricochets, nicks, hits, pelts or even comes close to the stars, you will probably be annoyed. If you are a James Bond fan and want to pan a Bond remake then you should watch it so you can post on message boards how much of a rip off it was then this is your flick. If you want to watch stuff get blown up, shot up, cut up, beat up, seven upped, then this film is for you...
 
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Joe M

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Yup, saw the flix the other night. Lots of shoot-em-up, doesn't-make-sense action. No brainer movie. Just what one needs, everything overt, no mumbo-jumbo plot to try to figure out. Just great fun. Nice review, Preacher, couldn't have said it better myself.....:)
 

doof

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My opinion is very much in line with yours, I would have liked to see a little more backstory, I felt very little connection to anyone on screen. How did you like Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys? I watched that recently and I became a fan.
 

Greggorios

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I was disappointed. Kind of guilty pleasure stuff-felt like a straight to video movie. There are some movies that feel like they were probably planned with all good intent but then some kind of disagreement happens between producers, directors, money guys, etc. and maybe someone pulls out or they run out of money and so they edit/cut corners and release it. It kind of felt like that.
 

kylejf90

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I was really excited for this one. I'm a huge fan of Gosling, Ana De Armas, and Evans. This was a total dud for me. it feels so hallow and cheap. But the thing is, it isn't cheap. It cost $200 million! This wants to be a Bourne movie SO bad. Gosling does a good job playing a beleaguered agent, and I agree that he doesn't get his due, and he's amazing in The Nice Guys. Chris Evans is having so much fun but it felt forced. I couldn't stop thinking its Chris Evans playing a character. And the action at times felt gratuitous. Overall, I'd give it a C-. It has none of the charm of Bond, none of the intrigue Bourne, and none of the spectacle of Mission Impossible. The cinematography was also bland as heck. The Russo's sure loved that swooping drone shot though...And apparently there is an R rated cut of this that is much better.
 

nojazzhere

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I've seen this on my Netflix "feed", and it just doesn't have "appeal".
I've misjudged things on Netflix before......but your review makes me think I haven't missed anything by not watching.
Others please correct me if I'm wrong.
 

JeffroJones

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I have been a fan of Gosling for some time and I don't think he gets his just due as an actor.

Did you see "Drive"?
My introduction to Gosling.
A tightly scripted, no-nonsense little action flick.
Nice cameo by Albert Brooks, who was great, and in an interview confessed surprise that the new bloods had even heard of him :)

:::
 

Marc Morfei

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If this one does not seem appealing, and you want the opposite, go see “Nope.” It’s entirely filled with metaphors and hidden meanings. You come out saying, “what the heck was that?”
 




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