Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Douglas Hodge
Directed by Ang Lee
2019 / 117 Minutes / Paramount Pictures
First off… why would anyone want to watch a film in a high frame rate. I put in my copy of Gemini Man in 4K only to discover that it was in the horrific high frame rate. I gave it a shot, but after 15 minutes of what felt like a cheap soap opera look to it, I turned it off and switched over to the Blu-ray version. I don’t understand Ang Lee’s (and other Director’s) love of this high frame rate. It cheapens the look of the movie and completely takes you out of it. Movies are not meant to look like this! They aren’t supposed to look this realistic, especially a sci-fi action movie. Something about it also hurts the performances, because your mind instantly makes you feel like your watching a nature documentary or you’re in real life. The colour and picture are sharp and crisp, but I find this look so distracting to watch. Not to mention this isn’t a great piece of film work, so that also doesn’t help things. Please Hollywood – do not let this become the norm, I would quit watching movies.
Now onto the actual movie. Gemini Man suffers from many problems, but the story being the biggest of the faults. Will Smith plays an older hitman who faces off with a younger cloned version of himself. What seems like an interesting idea using this face technology just becomes flat, gimmicky and and overall dull movie. The idea of seeing Smith acting against his younger self could have been pretty cool, but instead the story just feels completely absurd and not that interesting. Even the villain played by Clive Owen is boring with nothing exciting to do or anything unique to bring to the story, it’s a pretty messy script all around.
The casting also feels really off. There is no chemistry at all between Smith and Winstead. I can’t even say which one feels miscast because they both seem lost in the material and out of place. I don’t buy her character one bit and the dialogue between the two is cheesy and forced. I don’t know what they were expecting from these two, but if it’s supposed to have some sort of romance underlining to it, it doesn’t work.
I’m in shock that this mess of a movie was directed by an Academy Award winning Director, Ang Lee. Sure he doesn’t have a perfect track record, but this is a pretty large smudge on a resume of some terrific films. I’m not sure what he was wanting to do here, but if it was showcasing a technology I think you’ll discover no one cares. He would have been better to focus on the story more, which seems to be the fault of a lot of action films. No one cares about the story when things are going boom on screen. The effects aren’t even that good. I accepted the younger face of Smith, but it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that it started to looked worse and worse and more like an instagram filter.
I appreciated the idea of Gemini Man, but unfortunately it’s a huge miss of a movie, that at times is down right unwatchable. There’s nothing here to see that you didn’t get a glimpse of in the trailer. It’s big misfire from a talented director. Skip this one!