Ryan Gosling as Sierra Six in The Gray Man

Was Netflix's Most Expensive Original, The Gray Man, Worth It?

Maddy Burgess August 6, 2022

The Gray Man, Netflix’s biggest and most expensive original movie ever, dropped onto the streaming site last month.

With an all-star cast including Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Regé-Jean Page, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jessica Henwick, we knew this was going to be a big one. 

The Gray Man

According to Netflix: ‘The Gray Man is CIA operative Court Gentry (Ryan Gosling), aka, Sierra Six. Plucked from a federal penitentiary and recruited by his handler, Donald Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton), Gentry was once a highly-skilled, Agency-sanctioned merchant of death.

‘But now the tables have turned and Six is the target, hunted across the globe by Lloyd Hansen (Chris Evans), a former cohort at the CIA, who will stop at nothing to take him out. Agent Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) has his back. He’ll need it.’

Did the cash pay off?

Reportedly, Netflix spent $200m on the movie, which is the most they have ever used for an original, according to Men’s Health. This is reaching the amount that’s spent on Marvel films such as Doctor Strange: The Multiverse of Madness.

So, did the hundreds of thousands of dollars pay off? In my opinion, I’m not convinced. 

Too much action?

While there were plenty of action-packed scenes, explosions and gunshots (I can see where the money went) I wish they spent more time developing the characters. I wanted to know more about their personalities and watch them build relationships. But maybe that’s just the soppy part of me and I’m more of a romcom girl than action. 

I would also have loved to have seen more of ‘The Gray Man’ in his past. While his traumatic childhood got a brief mention, I think exploring that would have made his character feel more human and allowed us as an audience to connect with him more.

Plot holes

In parts, the plot has holes and just doesn’t seem realistic. I know most action movies aren’t but this was pushing it a little bit. How are hundreds of armed police trying to shoot this guy and he just walks away without a scratch?

The Gray Man (2022). Ryan Gosling as Six. Cr. Paul Abell/Netflix © 2022

It’s unconvincing for me that Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling) would care enough to put so much effort into saving someone (Julia Butters) when he only had a few scenes with her. The same goes for Court’s relationship with Dani (Ana de Armas.) Why is she risking her job and life for this man she met five minutes ago? It was puzzling.

The positives

On a positive note, I do like the Russo Brothers’ style of filmmaking and some of the action scenes were entertaining. We got to see some iconic places in the world and beautiful scenery. Both Chris Evans and Ryan Gosling played enemies really well and the dynamic between them was a good watch.

Maybe action films just aren’t for me, it had plenty of action but didn’t make me feel anything.

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Hi, my name is Maddy and I'm a journalism student at the University of Sheffield. My main interests are lifestyle, fashion, arts, culture and entertainment. I'm also the former fashion editor and current editor in chief of Liberty Belle Magazine. I'm a wannabe Carrie Bradshaw and you'll most likely find me either reading, shopping, watching films or at a cocktail bar.