GEMINI MAN is an innovative action-thriller starring Will Smith as Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative that seemingly can predict his every move.
What We Thought:
Gemini Man is a movie that dumb people will think is really smart and layered. If you’ve ever seen a movie before you should be able to see everything coming a mile away and not one twist or turn should be surprising. Going into it I was hoping the film would be “So-Bad-It’s-Good”, but unfortunately it’s just pretty bad. There are times I laughed at it and not with it, but I wanted more of that. It’s just the latest CGI-fest with bad double work and a motorcycle scene that is laughably bad.
And the worst part is, it should actually be a great action film. Director Ang Lee can be a visionary, but had I not already known he directed this going into it, I would have never said it was one of his movies after seeing it. Will Smith isn’t the bankable star of my youth, but his characters here actually suit him. He plays an aging assassin which makes sense because the Fresh Prince is now in his 50’s. He also plays a younger cloned version of himself which allows him to have a bit of that 1990’s swagger he once had. (That shouldn’t be a spoiler if you’ve seen the trailer.)
Plus the concept of the film could have worked. I’m sure the original pitch and resulting film are much different, but on paper the plot makes for a good sci-fi action flick. You take an incredible hired gun and clone him so once he’s too old to do his job, you have a younger version ready to take his place. Clive Owen is the man behind the cloning initiative and his monologue about wanting to raise an army of trained super soldiers no one will cry over when gone makes enough sense for him to be a movie bad guy. Owen can do this type of character in his sleep, but at least they gave the “villain” a somewhat fleshed out reason for doing what he did.
Smith was once Mr. Fourth of July and Lee is a highly respected director so the fact this is opening in the dead of October (and isn’t a horror flick) should tell you all you need to know about the film. The studio knows it didn’t turn out the way they wanted. If it had turned out better, a $130+ million budget action movie would be opening in late spring or the summer, not in the fall where they let movies go to die. Without much competition opening against it the movie might open well, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Joker repeat as the #1 film at the box office. Will Smith still seems to have an audience and he’s going to need all of them to show up for this to break even in the US.
Directed by: Ang Lee
Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong
Running Time: 117 mins
Opening Date: October 11th Wide