China | USA 2019
Opening October 3, 2019
Directed by: Ang Lee
Writing credits: David Benioff, Bill Ray, Darren Lemke
Principal actors: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Douglas Hodge
Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is a fifty-one year old assassin for the United States government who, following a stressful job, decides to retire. When he is informed by his old friend Jack (Douglas Hodge) that not everything about the job was as it seemed, he soon finds himself on the run from a super assassin who looks strikingly familiar. It seems that somewhere along the line Henry was cloned and it will take all of his wits to get to the bottom of the conspiracy.
While there are certainly elements of Gemini Manwhich are impressive, such as Ang Lee’s choice to film at 120 frames-per-second which gives it a remarkable crisp image, technological advances have not yet progressed far enough to prevent a de-aged Will Smith from venturing into the uncanny valley. Maybe this could be forgiven if the screenplay had offered any originality or if the acting was more engaging, but with such a milquetoast offering it makes for an unremarkable viewing experience.
Will Smith is his normal charming self, but at no point do I honestly believe him to be a hardened killer. An important aspect of his character is the fact that he is becoming too bothered by his work to continue with it, but his line about no longer being able to stand looking at himself in the mirror is delivered so nonchalantly that it is difficult to take seriously. With a story that follows the thriller formula to a tee and the leads phoning in their performances, all that is left is technological gimmicks, which are honestly not enough to hinge a two-hour long movie on. Gemini Man might be satisfactory for those desperate for an action flick and who are interested and seeing how far de-aging technology has come, but for everyone else this unremarkable film isn’t worth the time. (Rose F.)