Movie Review: ‘Gemini Man’

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Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is the ultimate warrior, widely known to be the best assassin in the business. As his veteran-like status continues, Brogan looks to the future, hoping to have a peaceful existence. After completing a mission, Gemini (a resourceful organization) sets a plan in motion. Their leader has made a clone of Brogan, and in time, this duplicate is sent on a deadly mission. Eventually, Brogan finds himself face to face with his clone, and from there, a battle ensues. 

You can have the best filmmaker and cast in the world, but if the script is lacking, you’re in trouble. Such is the case with “Gemini Man,” a film full of tremendous artists. Ang Lee, an acclaimed director, is behind the camera, testing the waters of technological advancement yet again. He gives us a crisp looking film, complete with bread crumbs of entertainment.  

One action set piece is breathtakingly good. Lee uses patient takes and point of view shots, giving the conflict an immersive feel that puts us in the cinematic environment. Unfortunately, every other set piece pales in comparison. When combatants fight, the action is insanely fast, not allowing us to savor the conflict’s development. When shots are fired, much of the action has the stale-like essence of average shooter games, and in the end, the film fails to consistently entertain. 

Many people have talked about the film’s utilization of de-aging technology. The younger version of Smith is brought to life through the use of motion capture and computer generated imagery. In all honesty, the effects are inconsistent. When the character is seen in broad daylight, the results are poor. However, when the character is in the dark, the results are solid. At times, it’s almost as if a younger version of Smith has returned from the past.  

Will Smith, a megastar of cinema, is in front of the camera, delivering solid work yet again. This time around, Smith’s flashiness is slightly minimized, and for good reason. The film paints a male portrait, consisting of pain and regret. Smith naturally steps into this role, using his larger than life presence to inject life into the character. His gravitas molds the character into a believable vessel of tragedy, balancing weariness and acceptance. As always, Smith’s charisma is alive and well, imbuing the flick with small bits of adventure. It’s just a shame that Smith isn’t connected to a better script, consisting of character, societal and technological exploration. 

Instead of intellectually utilizing the concept of cloning, the film delves into a sloppy whirlwind. The antagonist, played by Clive Owen, is barely developed, and when he is somewhat analyzed, it comes at the end of the film, when the damage is already done. In other cases, we are beaten over the head with information. Even when the facts are clear, the film goes a step further, entering the depths of hellish repetition. 

Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays a female agent. At first, her role consists of admirable morality and superior individuality. Her interpersonal charm and physical skills are clearly displayed, but at the film wears on, these aspects are heavily reduced. The end result is a female character that lacks a satisfying sense of progression. 

Benedict Wong is given a role of unimpressive proportions. He plays a character who pops up every one in awhile, adding uninteresting dialogue and common skills to the proceedings. When it comes to the action scenes, he vanishes into thin air. And when it comes to emotion, Wong’s character lacks proper evolution. 

Overall, I cannot recommend “Gemini Man.” The actors give it their all, forming chemistry that evokes the spirit of friendship and loyalty, but in the end, the flick falls prey to a sloppy script. I wanted to love it. But hey, that’s life. Sometimes, we enter the realm of disappointment. Here’s to next time!

My Grade:  D

Dillon McCarty can be contacted at [email protected]

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