Anthony and Joe Russo have a second go at directing a film post MCU and much like Cherry it falls flat for different reasons. The positives are the cast (minus Chris Evans who I did like at first but the more I thought about his performance the more I didn’t like it), particularly Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas (it’s just a shame her character was poorly written) and there’s a few actions that are decent enough but when compared to action films that have a far smaller budget that look far better you really notice a difference. Which is by far the biggest issue with The Gray Man….where did the budget go? That’s the question that kept popping into my head throughout the movie, the budget is supposedly $200 million dollars and while yes I realize that majority of it more than likely went towards getting the cast. It’s still baffling to see how ugly the movie is despite being a $200 million dollar movie, most of the action scenes are terrible combine that with poor writing that does nothing to standout among a very crowded genre and you have yourself a terrible action movie. This year alone has had films that have a far less budget that look much more appealing to look at, The Northman for example has a budget of $70-$90 million dollars and looks far more appealing, is much better crafted and the action scenes are far better. Moving on from the budget issues there really isn’t much else here, the movie plays out exactly how you think it’s going to. The pacing and running time do not blend well at all, this is one of those movies where you feel the running time going by painfully slow. The pacing puts a lot of moments in the movie at a complete and sudden stop that really derails the movie from moving on, overall The Gray Man is a very forgettable action movie that offers nothing new to the genre. It might not be one of the absolute worst movies I’ve seen this year but it is one of the most forgettable.
Lightyear is Pixar’s newest film which the whole idea of the movie is it is about who the toy Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films is based on. An idea that sadly doesn’t get fully utilized, but let’s go over the positives first. First off the animation is stunning, it compliments the whole space theme really well and is the very definition of having a sci-fi feel. The voice acting all around was really strong as well, particularly Keke Palmer, Chris Evans, Uzo Aduba and Peter Sohn. Speaking of which Sox the cat is hands down the best animal sidekick in recent memory, usually I’m not a fan of the usual modern Disney sidekick who’s just there for selling toys and making unfunny jokes. But Sox was a genuinely fun character who had a lot of charm and feels a lot more than a dollar sign, the first half of Lightyear felt a lot like what you would expect from Pixar…the first 30 minutes to be exact. There’s some genuinely touching scenes with a lot of emotions mixed in that really paint an interesting story about blaming yourself and trying to do everything you can to fix a situation. The major problem with Lightyear is what follows after that, the movie quickly becomes a very generic sci-fi story filled to the brim with cliches. A huge part of this is what they decided to do with Zurg, which was a very puzzling choice that really did not add much to the movie. There are some decent bits here and there in the second half, but it’s not enough to put this movie back to where it was in the first half. It’s a lot of sci-fi elements that don’t blend together very well. Overall Lightyear is definitely not a bad film (far from it) it just could have taken it’s ideas from the first half of the movie and pushed them even further.