Title: Gemini Man
Release Date: Oct 11th, 2019
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Ang Lee
Release Format: Theatrical
Ever beat yourself up over a bad decision? Well, probably not as much as Will Smith in Gemini Man as he literally does it in a thrilling action-packed film.
Gemini Man follows Henry (Will Smith), a legendary assassin who is retiring after one last job. Except, that last job turns complicated and he now has a clone that is younger, faster, and stronger trying to kill him.
As science-fiction as the premise is, the movie stays grounded in the way it presents everything. From the characters to the locations, you can get the sense of this taking place somewhere on the globe today.
This realism helps to raise the stakes as you feel that Henry or anyone his group can die at any moment. The movie is shot in 120 FPS 4K 3D helps to really feel like your there. I know it looks like I just spazzed on my keyboard, but don’t worry I didn’t have a stroke and that 120 FPS is a real thing.
You don’t need a horoscope to see that Gemini Man is an entertaining blockbuster, a throwback to 90s action films in a lot of ways. Yet, it is also clear that there are some problems, mainly from the plot. that keep this reaching that next level.
The action in the film is so visceral, I felt like I was in the thick of it during gunfights. I was ducking and flinching at times like audience members at a Joker screening when someone’s bubblegum pops.
Henry takes a beating in this film and unlike every other Hollywood film, those beatings don’t disappear. He gets physically messed up at points and for the rest of the film, you have to look at it and remember the awesome fight he got it in
This is some of the best action I’ve seen all year since John Wick Chapter 3… until a certain point. It’s like the first and second half of Gemini Man were done by different people.
The film just slows to a crawl mid-way to have the characters talk a lot. This would be cool if the dialogue wasn’t so mediocre as it is highlighted more when the high-energy action takes a step back for a bit. The story here is clunky and honestly, pretty dumb later on.
Mary Elizabeth Winstead is great here as there are few that can hold their own presence while Big Willy is around. She is charming and matches Smith’s comedic ability to create some deep chuckles out of me in lighter moments.
Smith plays a more serious and tired killer with some really good performances at points throughout the film. But like so many of his films, he returns to being Will Smith. He satisfyingly plays both Henry and Junior with the latter having his acting ticks from earlier in his career. However, there is one scene that turns comedic as Junior gets an almost note for note “Why he don’t want me, Uncle Phil“. You’ll know when you see it and laugh as hard as I did.
Take a Look
The CGI is prominent here, which is probably the film’s biggest downside since it’s not very good. From the jets to drones to probably a piece of toast this movie is heavily reliant on CGI. When it’s used as a supplement or for Junior it’s great, anything else seems like an afterthought.
There are multiple outside shots of when our characters fly on a jet, that might have very well been footage of a paper plane gliding mid-air. I’m not sure if I was watching Team America or a big-budget Hollywood film.
Will Smith must have pissed off the animators because they did him dirty in his final scenes as Junior. He legitimately looked like something out of the first Tekken on PS1. The animators did the equivalent of making the rest of your long research paper good and saying “screw it” with the last paragraph hoping the teacher wouldn’t notice.
Junior is a threat initially, then the film neuters his abilities not to outshine papa Henry. For gamers, think of it like Ocelot vs Snake encounters in MGS3: Snake Eater, after a while you’ll find it harder to believe. For everyone else, this basically becomes a live-action Road Runner v Wild E. Coyote in the latter half.
Getting Jiggy With It
Verdict: Gemini Man makes for a fun, if albeit forgettable watch. The movie does great on the surface level, but when it tries to get deeper it gets torpedoed harder than Carlton asking women on dates.
This is a film that was made to showcase the de-aging technology and great action through the 4K camera. The plot and script weren’t even an afterthought, they just… were there. But, I still liked it and this is a good Friday night popcorn flick (or rental).
What’s your favorite Will Smith movie? What’s the best science-fiction film of this year so far? What 90s action film are you fondest of to this day? Leave your comments!
- Some of the best-action this year
- Great leads
- Smith de-aging tech looks fantastic
- Second half way weaker than the first.
- Spotty script
- Bad CGI at different points
- Ending straight out a Fresh Prince episode