The Gray Man is the debut novel by Mark Greaney, first published in 2009 by Jove Books. It is also the first novel to feature the Gray Man, freelance assassin and former CIA operative Court Gentry.
The Russo brothers are not known for a muted style of film-making. But even by their usual bombastic standards – and take into account these are the men behind the Marvel cataclysms Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame – their latest, the Netflix-produced espionage thriller The Gray Man, is cacophonous on every level.
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Which is a pity, because the action is the main point of this pumped-up assault weapon of a movie. And, for all the sensory overload – it’s a bit like being trapped inside a first-person shooter challenge being played by a 12-year-old gaming prodigy – The Gray Man is undeniably entertaining.
The eponymous Gray Man is Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling), a highly trained and seemingly unkillable covert operative who finds himself the target of his former employers. Think Bourne in a Drive-style jacket.
He finds a wary acolyte in Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas), a CIA agent who is forced to go rogue. Both are pitted against Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans, every bit as comfortable in the sociopathic torture-connoisseur role as he is in his selection of slightly too-tight polo shirts).