‘The Gray Man’ and Netflix’s big action movie problem

Netflix has had a tough time lately, dropping its market value by $50 billion in April when it revealed that it lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, and then this week it announced it had bled an additional 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter. Quarter – A result that was actually thrown in a positive light, because it fell short of the streaming service’s expectations. It’s all not sunny and rosy in the 21st century entertainment giant, though it’s aiming to turn things around starting this weekend. gray manJoe and Anthony Russo’s epic espionage versus spy in which rogue CIA agent Ryan Gosling fights against the mercenary sociopath of Chris Evans. The production is the most expensive in the company’s history (with a reported $200 million price tag), and Netflix’s biggest gamble so far in creating a true action movie — and with it, a lucrative franchise.

Netflix shouldn’t get its hopes up. Premieres online on July 22 (after a previous theatrical show), gray man It carries out its task with worker-like efficiency but with a frustrating lack of larger-than-life taste; Chaos rarely pops the way it should for an audience, despite the wealth of venues that roam the world, massive set pieces, and the sinister transformation of Chris Evans. Swings for fences, and ends up as a double round instead of home, making him yet another Netflix pillar of support that doesn’t quite live up to greatness.

Over the past three years, the company has worked hard to concoct a sensation on par with its trusted Marvel smash (or a phenomenon like Tom Cruise recently). Top Gun: Maverick), just to come up with efforts that seem more approximate than original. For an industry giant that frequently leads the way, Netflix has generally failed when it comes to the most aggressive movie genres.

Since 2019, Netflix’s traffic record has been decidedly choppy, thanks to films that, on a creative level, are completely frustrating or faltering, including trinomialAnd the Secret SpencerAnd the Gunpowder MilkshakeAnd the KateAnd the BeckettAnd the the man from torontoAnd the spiderAnd the Adam’s ProjectAnd the red noticeAnd the extraction. While the last three were apparently injured, as it were old guard—Proof of the fact that they all receive supplements (except Adam’s Project) —No one has become a water cooler-style breakthrough that has made any impact in the broader popular culture conversation. They are obedient programmers who vanish from memory as soon as the credits roll, unable to deliver massive, thrilling, or rugged thrills. Whether it’s expensive projects or expensive second-tier movie projects, they are often bland at best, and grotesque at worst.

Some of this is simply the result of hiring the right stars (Dwayne Johnson, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Oscar Isaac, Chris Hemsworth) and then producing the wrong projects. However, getting into this failure seems to be something more fundamental. Netflix has achieved massive success in the dramatic field by giving authors relatively carte blanche, whether Martin Scorsese with IrishAlfonso Cuaron with RomeJane Campion with dog strengthNoah Baumbach with marriage storyMaggie Gyllenhaal with the missing daughterAnd the Rebecca Hall with passPaolo Sorrentino with God’s handAnd the Lin-Manuel Miranda with put a mark … Or, ostensibly, Andrew Dominic with Next Blonde. This strategy has earned (and won) accolades and Academy Award nominations to the point where providing real artists with resources and independence is a winning formula. However, in terms of blockbuster movies, the opposite was true – for millions (if not hundreds of millions) to go to the delight of their hearts, the majority of Netflix film directors (Rawson Marshall Thurber, Sean Levy, Peter Berg) made a flat, snooze style.

However, in terms of blockbuster movies, the opposite was true – for millions (if not hundreds of millions) to go to the delight of their hearts, the majority of Netflix film directors (Rawson Marshall Thurber, Sean Levy, Peter Berg) made a flat, snooze style.

The main exception to this rule is Michael Bay, who 6 underground It came and went without a peep in late 2019 although, on a technical level, it was as wonderfully hyperactive as anything he did. Three years later, Ryan Reynolds’ Bay-titled extravaganza still feels more like a victim of bad marketing, that is, Netflix’s failure to promote its original material both in the press and on its homepage, more than an artistic miscalculation. However, its poor performance also means that Netflix needs to approach events differently than drama, which leads to stricter quality control over its products to make sure they don’t get bogged down in random directions. In other words, no one needed to look over Scorsese’s or Campion’s shoulders, but perhaps more of that would have resulted in red notice or a Secret Spencer Some good – a path Marvel is taking, to the tune of untold billions, in all of its massive CGI endeavours.

Of course, Marvel’s assembly-line approach to filmmaking rarely generates masterpieces (and recently has led to some serious pitfalls on its own). However, it has helped the comic book giant rise to the top of the industry, while avoiding the kinds of adventure and botched action that Netflix regularly produces. most recent, gray manIt will likely satisfy many, but only a few. In light of Roussos’ past, Marvel triumphs with Captain America: The Winter Soldier And the Avengers: EndgameIt’s hard not to ask if the difference between the two companies’ fortunes is a measure of the freedom Netflix affords its managers, to their detriment.

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