Gemini Man Review: Two Will Smiths at the expense of everything else

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Gemini Man is a film that has been in production for over twenty years. The main reason for this lies in the approach to the premise – which is a younger clone of an aging assassin who is supposed to kill him – because the creators wanted to create a computer-generated clone of the protagonist instead of playing another actor doing the job , The technology to implement this convincingly did not exist for a long time. But now. Because of the two-decade delay, Gemini Man's concept, premise, and underlying themes have been explored several times. In 2002, Star Trek: Nemesis changed the concept (bad) and decided to use Tom Hardy to play Patrick Stewart's villainous clone. In 2009, Duncan Jones dealt with the philosophical aspects of cloning in his debut film Moon. And in 2012, Rian Johnson used time travel and various actors – Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis – for a similar premise.

That doesn't mean Gemini Man shouldn't exist. But it means that it has to offer something that the audience has never seen before. Unfortunately, the team of well-known creators – acclaimed director Ang Lee, who wrote a screenplay for Game of Thrones co-creator David Benioff, co-author of The Hunger Games, Billy Ray, and goosebumps author, Darren Lemke – don't to have weakest idea how to do that. In fact, Gemini Man isn't even an action or thriller film as advertised. The film is largely sluggish, and any momentum it builds up for itself will be missed in the next lackluster scene. His characters have no depth, and therefore there is no emotional attachment to any of them. And entire scenes seem to be missing in between, so it's likely that much of the character development has been abandoned to reduce Gemini Man to less than 2 hours. The film is essentially hollow.

Gemini Man actually has something to offer that (most) viewers have never seen. Lee continues his penchant for advanced technology from his previous feature and captured Gemini Man with a particularly high frame rate of 120 frames per second (that's five times the standard 24 frames per second) and 4K resolution in 3D. (Peter Jackson shot the Hobbit trilogy at 48 frames per second, while James Cameron wants to continue avatar sequels at 48 or 60 frames per second. FPS stands for frames per second.) In theory, this means much, much smoother images with an imperceptible one Flicker. But Lee has spent time and money on technologies that are forgotten to be valued and that most viewers cannot even consider intended. Not a single screen in India or the U.S. will display Gemini Man in 3D at 120 frames per second at 4K. In fact, Gemini Man is only available in India in the normal resolution of 24 fps at 2K in 2D. (It's also in IMAX if that's comforting.)

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Will Smith and Benedict Wong in Gemini Man
Photo credit: Ben Rothstein / Paramount Pictures

Gemini Man opens in Liege, Belgium, where assassin Henry Brogan (Will Smith) can show off his skills by shooting a bio-terrorist target at 240 km / h in a high-speed train. With over 70 kills, Henry decides to retire. But since the film revolves around him, it is of course withdrawn. The plot is so general and confusing that no explanation is required other than saying that Henry's life is in danger, which forces him to leave his Georgian home in the United States with Defense Intelligence agency agent Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead ), which was sent to surprise Henry, becomes a loose end after being burned. They are persecuted by their own government, including Clay Varris (Clive Owen), the shameful leader of a secret Black Ops project called GEMINI. (The film never offers a complete form.)

In search of help, Henry and Danny meet Henry's former colleague and friend Baron (Benedict Wong), who starts Gemini Man's globetrotter from Cartagena (Colombia) to Budapest (Hungary). (Most of it consists of action sequences that are longer than the usual average shot length, but are nothing special and sometimes border on parody. In one scene, Winstead essentially becomes a source of light.) After them, close behind – it's in the premise, the trailers have already spoiled it and the film doesn't pull it out too long either – is a younger clone of Henry named Junior (Smith, via a combination of CGI and motion capture), broadcast by clay. Henry is startled and hesitates to shoot him, but Junior, who doesn't know better, doesn't seem to have any concerns about killing him.

Gemini One never really cares why Clay would send Junior to Henry or why Henry would try not to kill Junior. It offers a fleeting, ambiguous explanation for the first – Clay calls Henry "junior's darkness" even though they are not related outside of their matched DNA – and explicitly suggests that Junior couldn't be Henry's son, whom he wasn't was aware of this since he never had a long-term relationship with anyone. Gemini One wants to find out the regret that Henry has for not being a husband or a father and used his job as an excuse. It also wants to talk about the philosophical idea of ​​nature vs. Think about care. At the same time, it shows a deep lack of interest in how there is no time to address these concepts in any meaningful way. The film jumps from one thing to another without a meaningful connective tissue that holds everything together.

As a result, it is Junior who suffers the most from Gemini Man because his actions feel like they have no real weight. The audience must feel the inner conflict he is struggling with, between the apparent lies that he has been fueled by an apparently depraved, if deceitful, father throughout his upbringing, and the shocking truths that his older clone, he entrusted to kill, pouring over him. Could Henry just lie to save his skin? What is the ulterior motive of his adoptive father Clay? All of this is necessary for Gemini Man, but is not played on the screen long enough. Instead, Junior seems to be switching from one emotion to another on a whim, and these heel movements are just an indication of the hollow writing mentioned above.

Gemini Man is also full of boring and stilted dialogues that move the film further into the background. His attempts to joke land and the exhibition is bleak. Henry's obsession with his age and ridicule for others – he says he's 50, everyone corrects him to be 51 – is never set properly. Clay is full of cookie cutter dialogues and a third act monologue about how humane war cloning is, while Baron really wants you to know that he has served in tiny countries around the world that he is only too happy to review. Elsewhere, characters are killed and their friends react little or no emotionally. Last but not least, there are scenes that fool the audience and that fall apart when you think back on them.

The only thing that works at Gemini Man is the technological achievement of a digitally created younger blacksmith – with the exception of the end. Most junior scenes take place at night, which means that the imperfections are not easy to spot. But the whole thing descends into the eerie valley as soon as daylight falls on Junior's face. Still, two Will Smiths can't help a film that's missing in most departments. Winstead, Owen and Wong are underused. This is a criminal act that goes hand in hand with mistakes in character development and writing dialogues, as well as random editing and timing problems. Gemini Man spent over two decades in developing hell waiting for technology to catch up, but Lee & Co. seem to have forgotten that films are word-based rather than pixel-based.

Gemini Man will be shown in Indian cinemas in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu on Friday, October 11th.