Film Review – Gemini Man

Gemini Man (M)

Directed by: Ang Lee

Starring: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Two stars

Review by: Julian Wright

When highly skilled 51-year-old government assassin Henry Brogan (Will Smith) calls it quits to live a quiet life away from guns after a close call with a civilian, he immediately finds himself the target an assassin as equally deadly.

Turns out, and this is no spoiler because all you have to do is look at the poster, that this person is his own, younger clone Junior, that he did not know existed.

Henry finds himself on the run and globetrotting in order to stay alive and find answers.

He is joined by Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who simply had the misfortune of being put on duty to keep an eye on Henry in his recent retirement, and his resourceful mate Baron (Benedict Wong), because they need someone to fly them to various exotic locations around the world.

Gemini Man is quite the curious misfire.

The cast and crew are working with a script that has been floating around since 1997, about the time when cloning was a hot topic, and it shows.

More than 20 years later and Gemini Man adds nothing new in the way of insights or takes on cloning ethics and the motivations for cloning in the film are simplistic and obvious.

Had the technology allowed for what is achieved here in 1997, this may have been fresh and quite a rush back then.


Highly acclaimed director Ang Lee has chosen pathos over violence before in his action genre choices (much to the surprise of comic book fans with 2003’s Hulk), but there are merely shades of themes here that seem attractive for him to explore.

Considering this is a two-hour film and not a lot of action, one might expect a meatier story. Instead we get several static scenes of our leads sitting around in alfresco settings.

Even more curious is the way it is presented: 3D+, which is shown at a higher frame rate that does, admittedly, make the image and action sharper and clearer. And with the 3D aspect added, almost impossible to not try to dodge the oncoming traffic during the sensational motorbike chase between the two Smiths.

Additionally, the wizardry that brings Junior to life is almost flawless. There is the occasional brief moment of facial movement that doesn’t quite seem right, but technology has come a long way since The Rock was dreadfully recreated in The Scorpion King (2002).

However, in trying to make everything look as close to what the human eye sees, stunning European locations look like studio sets and almost everything else look like CGI.

Perhaps it just takes some time for our eyes to adjust.

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