Dominant worldview and other worldview content/elements:
Lighthearted moral worldview in a kill or be killed spy scenario as the spy hero with a conscience tries to stop a vicious and sadistic killer from killing him, but in the process he saves his mentor’s vulnerable young niece
Seven “s” words, “punched in the d**k” said twice, one a-hole, two “h” words, one “b” word, one “a**”, jesus profanity, one JC blasphemy, a blasphemy of Christ and a light blasphemy using the word God
The extreme and intense violence throughout includes constant and intensely violent shootouts with all kinds of guns and missile launchers, a massive car chase that “destroys Vienna”, a gleefully sadistic villain tortures a man with a electric shock through jumper cables attached to the sides of his mouth and uses pliers to pull out another man’s fingernails, the fingernails begin to come off, then the victim screams and the bloody fingernails are seen on a table, a Intensely violent hand-to-hand combat that includes frequent stabbing, huge fight in plane blows plane up
Alcohol consumption :
Some alcohol consumption
Smoking and/or drug use and abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
A young girl around 10 years old is kidnapped and threatened with death by bad guys even as she recovers from pacemaker surgery, she is orphaned and traumatized when taken away from her last parent and then watches the explosion that kills him (that’s a lot of threat for a young girl to live).
THE GRAY MAN is an action-packed, intensely violent thriller made by Netflix hoping to rival the MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and James Bond films, with Ryan Gosling playing a CIA assassin whose new boss turns against him to conceal certain unacceptable activities. As an action-packed spy movie, THE GRAY MAN takes off for two-thirds of its runtime before a weak final act containing repetitive, brutal violence and child endangerment becomes too off-putting.
The film follows the globe-trotting adventures of a CIA hitman codenamed Sierra Six (Ryan Gosling). Six is sent to kill another rogue agent and retrieve a necklace containing a Sim card filled with top secret information. The target tries to sell the information to alien enemies, and Six is ordered to stop him at all costs.
Six manages to kill the rogue agent and takes possession of the necklace when his new CIA boss turns against him and sends agents to kill him. A gleefully sadistic sociopath named Floyd Hansen (Chris Evans) is tasked with the mission of finding and killing Six. Hansen releases many other teams of hitmen to do the job.
With the help of his sidekick Dani Miranda (Ana de Armas) rescuing him in one amazing action sequence after another, Six escapes some of the craziest situations ever put on film. His mentor, Fitzroy (Billy Bob Thornton), gives him sage advice from afar until his own young niece is kidnapped and put in danger.
Will Six manage to put the necklace in the right hands? Will he be able to save Fitzroy’s niece from extreme peril?
THE GRAY MAN is directed by Joe and Anthony Russo (AVENGERS: ENDGAME). Its $200 million budget makes it the most expensive movie Netflix has ever made. The money is on the screen, as the explosive mayhem creates several jaw-dropping action sequences. However, the action is marred somewhat by repetitive hand-to-hand combat scenes and gunfights that have been featured thousands of times in other films.
THE GRAY MAN is undeniably entertaining most of the time, but the film wallows in far too intense violence. For example, the entire second half of the movie consists of people trying to kill each other in multiple ways. There are also two scenes of torture. The very level of brutality deserves to be explored in certain moral and ethical ways.
THE GRAY MAN is emblematic of how the MPA rating chart gives a free pass to almost any level of violence in PG-13 movies, as long as the characters don’t say the “f” word or s not engage in explicit sex or nudity. While these other factors are definitely immoral, this type of intense violence can negatively impact children and adolescents and even desensitize adults, as hundreds of thousands of studies have proven.
The constant action in superhero movies can indeed be largely excusable since the characters involved are so clearly fantasy, and therefore not such a big deal. However, THE GRAY MAN features humans stabbing each other in close-up multiple times and features two overly sadistic torture scenes.
The most troubling aspect of all this worry is that kids will soon be able to easily watch THE GRAY MAN on Netflix as its PG-13 rating is unlikely to receive preventative viewing measures for younger viewers. Parents are likely to assume that the PG-13 rating makes it safer for older children, the presence of a young girl in a prominent role could still make children want to see THE GRAY MAN and parents to trust him.
On the plus side, Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas as the two main heroes. They are a fun team that helps each other through endless danger. Plus, despite being a downright obnoxious character in the film, Chris Evans delivers some quirky notes in his performance as the sadistic villain.
Another problem with THE GRAY MAN is that the film is constantly hopscotching to far off places in the world, with titles spelling out each location. However, it gets boring when so little happens in each location that the film’s settings blur, except for one of the greatest chases of all time in Vienna, where the characters hit the town . Outside of Vienna, it seems obvious that the filmmakers never shot scenes in most foreign locations.
THE GRAY MAN offers an impressive, action-packed experience, but should absolutely not be seen by pre-teen children, most teenagers, and many adults due to its excessive and relentless violence. THE GRAY MAN also has numerous obscenities and at least three major profanities.