The Gray Man wants to be many things; a James Bond movie, a Bourne movie, a Mission: Impossible movie, and, perhaps most of all, a Shane Black movie. Only it plays like a photocopy of all of those. On the surface it looks like the thing, but it misses what make those movies fun and good, instead opting for tepid, toothless PG-13 action that carries precisely zero weight because there’s no one particularly interesting or compelling to invest in.
Stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans do their best in this tale of a shadowy government assassin (Gosling) betrayed by his handlers and hunted by a psychotic private contractor (Evans). But not even their considerable charm and enthusiasm can salvage this bloated, ugly movie that feels like the result of a feeding superior films into a bot.
Also, nothing actually resolves at the end. It’s all set up for the next installment, hinting at things to come, laying the groundwork for more bullshit sequels. I know that’s not how it works anymore, but once, just once, I’d like filmmakers to tell a good, complete, compelling story, then worry about establishing a franchise. I've watched far worse, but damn The Gray Man is just the bland shell of an action movie. [Grade: C-]