The Gray Man and 9 other bland action thrillers that missed the mark

The last feature film directed by the Russo Brothers, the gray manfinally began streaming on Netflix, starring Ryan Gosling as the rogue CIA agent Sierra Six, who takes on a mad villain in Chris Evans’ Lloyd Hansen.

While the new Netflix movie has gained enough traction to warrant a sequel, the film has proven to be quite divisive between fans and critics, harkening back to a number of other action-thriller films from the past few years that had great potential but ended up missing the mark. .

10 the gray man

Available on Netflix

Featuring a massive MCU reunion with the writing duo of Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and the Russo Brothers, who previously worked together on both. Avengers: Infinity War and Ultimatum, and a star-studded cast of lovable actors, the gray man had every reason to be the next big thing.

the gray man it may have been an acceptable movie, but in the end it was more of a forgettable action thriller that failed to differentiate itself from the dozens of other films in the genre. With such a remarkable production team, the gray man it should have been a much bigger entry in Netflix’s vast back catalog, though the franchise still has a chance to redeem itself with the recently announced sequel.

9 Red Warning

Available on Netflix

Red Warning brought together a cast of incredibly likeable actors in big stars Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds in what was at the time the most expensive Netflix movie ever made. Enjoying a global adventure, Red Warning was one of the best-selling Netflix originals of all time, creating a hype that the film didn’t live up to.

While Red Warning was undoubtedly a hit for Netflix, spawning the franchise the streamer had hoped for upon its release, critics were not particularly fond of the film, criticizing the bland and predictable story. The A-list cast was also criticized for their broadly generic characters, which more closely resembled the much more popular personalities of characters the respective actors have played in other films.

8 Brillant

Available on Netflix

In 2017, Brillant was created to be the next big action-thriller fantasy franchise. With big talent in stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton and a deeper message that could have provided formative social commentary, it all looked set for the start of a big hit for Netflix.

Will Smith has started many franchises over the years, including Men in Black, bad boysand many more. Brillant, however, was a franchise that not even he managed to take off. The film was panned by critics, and while a sequel has been in development for years, Netflix appears to have canceled the film following Will Smith’s public incident with Chris Rock at the Oscars earlier this year.

7 Bump

Available on Amazon Prime Video

Kate Beckinsale Tried to Launch Her Own John Wick-esque action franchise with its 2021 movie Bump. With viewers hungry for movie franchises of this nature, Bump it could and should have been the female-led action franchise that multiple studios have been desperately looking for for years.

Despite its potential, Bump it ultimately crashed on its debut, failing to gain traction with fans or critics. Any hopes of a sequel or spin-off to this action thriller quickly fizzled as it became clear that viewers hadn’t accepted this potential new franchise.

6 Kate

Available on Netflix

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, fresh from her DCEU debut in Birds of prey from the previous year, starred in 2021 Kate as the titular assassin with only one day to live. With a cast completed by Woody Harrelson, Tadanobu Asano and newcomer Miku Martineau, expectations were high for Kate after its release on Netflix.

Nonetheless Kate was pleasantly free from heavy franchise building, establishing itself as an independent film, the plot feels very much borrowed from other better films. There is little that is remarkable about Kate plus Winstead constantly proving his worth as an action star.

5 6 underground

Available on Netflix

While Ryan Reynolds’ latest Netflix movies have been huge hits, his 2019 partnership with the streaming giant, 6 underground, never found the same pull. Directed by Michael Bay and starring a cast of personable actors led by Reynolds himself, the film was marketed as one of the greatest Netflix movies of all time.

6 underground tried to be Michael Bay’s great “return to form”, but ended up failing to maintain the plateau. Audiences faltered in their interest in the film after its poor critical reception, killing any chance for potential films. It would be three years later that Bay would try his “return to shape” concession once more, perhaps finding its mark with Ambulance.

4 the old guard

Available on Netflix

On the heels of the massive boom in the superhero action genre, Netflix invested a great deal of money and energy into creating the Charlize Theron 2020 vehicle, the old guard. With an inexhaustible appetite for superhero movies and a tremendous goodwill for a film that promised to stand out among the genre, the old guard was about to be Netflix’s long-sought superhero franchise.

the old guard managed to find some level of audience interest on its release, even earning a sequel, but it still hasn’t been able to properly expand the incredibly saturated superhero genre in a meaningful way. While future installments of the franchise may still set themselves apart from other superhero movies, the old guard may have made a video game better than a movie.

3 Infinite

Available at Paramount+

Infinite is a 2021 action thriller starring Mark Wahlberg, Sophie Cookson and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Based on the beloved novel The reincarnationist roles by D. Eric Maikranz, the film came with a pre-existing fan base, a cast with a large respective following, and a tremendous franchise opportunity, all of which it squandered.

Messed up a streaming-only release as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Infinite it made very little impact on audiences upon its release, mostly being lost to oblivion on a streaming service that had yet to establish itself. The film itself faltered in its intriguing setting, trading in the more interesting sci-fi elements for generic action sequences and memorable characters.

two the protected

Available on Amazon Prime Video

Equipped with a powerful trio of main stars in Maggie Q, Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Keaton, the 2021 action thriller movie the protected had the great opportunity to take advantage of the summer movie season finale and potentially launch a fantastic franchise.

Although it’s not a terrible movie, the protected looks like dozens of other forgettable action thrillers from the last decade. All of the characters look tired and familiar, with Maggie Q’s role as Anna Dutton all too reminiscent of countless other characters from the actress’ previous films. At the end, the protected doesn’t do enough to win over audiences in a busy market.

1 The assassin’s wife’s bodyguard

Available on HBO Max

The assassin’s bodyguard was the surprise hit of 2017, with stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek forming a fantastic trio worthy of turning into a profitable franchise. Thus, the 2021 sequence, The assassin’s wife’s bodyguardhad every reason to be as successful as the original.

It became clear soon after the release of The assassin’s wife’s bodyguard that the sequel paled in comparison to the original. While the performances of the film’s main cast were certainly on par with the work on the previous film, it wasn’t enough to save the sequel’s weak story and lazy jokes, which may have killed what could have been a very profitable franchise.

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