Gemini Man

  • Directed by Ang Lee
  • October 1, 2019 (Zurich Film Festival) / October 11, 2019 (US)

A government hitman who seeks to retire finds himself the target of a younger version of himself.

Before viewing Gemini Man, I heard a lot of negative things about the film. I got my copy on the cheap and expected to turn it off before the end, but as it turns out this was not as bad or unwatchable as I was led to believe. In fact I would say that this movie is far better than what its detractors would have the general public think. It’s not the greatest film ever nor is it groundbreaking, but it is good.

The retiring hitman who becomes a target has been done numerous times either as a mob film or as a spy thriller. They do not tread new ground here in that. The twist though is that the replacement hunting down our central character of Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is his younger clone. With a science-fiction twist it becomes a little more special.

Danielle “Danny” Zakarewski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a DIA agent initially sent to observe Henry who ends up joining Henry after he saves her, is more like Henry’s assistant than a token girlfriend though by the end of the film it is hinted that that’s what she’s becoming. There are a few tough girl moments but truthfully her character brings little to the story. I was hoping for something.

Benedict Wong as Baron is criminally underused. His character moves things along. Baron is the competent comic relief character who is more than jokes. I wish they had a few more moments with him in the film because I enjoyed his character and there seemed to be a little bit more potential to build an interesting dynamic between Henry and Baron as opposed to Henry and Danny.

Clive Owen plays our central baddie Clay Varris but Clay doesn’t seem to rise to a level of evil equal to the good of Henry if you get what I mean. His character began a private company that started a recruiting program for government hitman. Long story short he realized one day that Henry would get old and want to step down, so he took steps to have a replacement ready. And those steps included a clone. Because of course!

Gemini Man is played very much like a spy thriller. The cloning element is almost incidental to the story. You don’t forget it’s there, but it’s not shoved in your face all the time. I find that a little intriguing. It is played as natural and not unusual.

The de-aging technology used to make Will Smith look younger works more often than it does not. If you have ever watched The Fresh Prince of Belair you know how he looked when he was young and rather thin and they capture his look of youth perfectly. The technology has come a long way since Tron Legacy.

Perhaps because of the special effects needs of the film or perhaps they were just lazy there are a few scenes that are supposed to take place in the evening where they clearly slapped a night filter on the camera lens to make it look dark. I have never liked that. It snaps me out of the narrative each and every time and they used it at a few points here.

I do enjoy the action sequences though the one where they first introduced the young clone does bother me a little bit. It’s a cool sequence with some great moments. What irritates me is Henry fell off a moving motorcycle and was able to get back up and then gets whacked with a tire of another motorcycle. I might be able to buy him falling off the motorcycle and getting back up but getting whacked with the back tire of a motorcycle as well I cannot. Unless he is a superhero, he should have been dead with his head bouncing down the road. Was this a secret Hancock sequel? We may never know…

Gemini Man isn’t as terrible as they say but it’s not a great film either. It’s enjoyable enough and you might just revisit it. If you come across this, it’s worth giving a look.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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