Will Smith stars (twice) in Ang Lee’s new action movie ‘Gemini Man’. The story is set around a hitman, Henry (Will Smith) who has just completed his last mission before his coveted retirement. Little does Henry know that his retirement party is going to be cut short when the company Gemini send out a clone of himself called Junior (also Will Smith) to kill him. As the hunt ravages on, Henry calls upon Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Baron (Benedict Wong) to support him as he tries to take down his clone and his creator, the head of Gemini, Clay Verris (Clive Owen)
Issues pop up instantly in ‘Gemini Man’ and it’s hard not to notice all of its blemishes. First up are the poor set pieces as the action itself is extremely boring and instantly forgettable. The reason why it’s boring is because all the main set pieces are revolved around Will Smiths characters Henry and Junior. As both characters are Will Smith, you are unable to actually see which Will is which. Especially when its close quarters fighting. Quick cuts try to hide the issues they have by putting Will Smiths face on a double but it just ends up with a quick flash of edits which make it extremely impossible to guess which Will Smith is losing or winning! Secondly, the story itself is just extremely poor. Emotions are desperately and poorly injected into this sci-fi action and it just does not work at all. You’re made to feel bad for Junior as he has been made in a lab by Verris and has no idea that he has been made from Henry’s DNA. The fact that he doesn’t seem to recognise that he looks exactly like Henry is mind boggling. Because of Juniors sheer stupidity, all emotion is thrown out of the window, and you catch yourself laughing at moments where you really shouldn’t be laughing.
What’s disappointing is that the brilliant Ang Lee directed this. It’s very unlike the acclaimed director to make something that is underwhelming. Known for his fantastic work on ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’, he has always been one to really bring a film to life and showcase his films extremely well on the big screen. Especially when it comes to using CGI effectively or practical effects. ‘Gemini Man’ will always be the thorn that sticks out on his filmography. Moving onto Will Smith, I’m finding it extremely difficult to see what direction he seems to be taking in film. You can only look back fondly on one, maybe two films in the last 11 years where he has performed well, and those two are ‘Concussion’ and ‘Seven Pounds’. Smith’s filmography has been plagued by box-office bombs and negative reviews for the majority of his films this decade. He seems to have lost that magic that he had in the 90’s and early 2000’s and what also seems to have disappeared is that energy that he always seems to have.
‘Gemini Man’ is embarrassing at the best of times. The film aimlessly plods along until it hits its natural but un-climatic ending. Predictable at every step of the way, ‘Gemini Man’ doesn’t reinvent the wheel in regards to its genre. There are plenty of others you could catch in the cinema. So best not waste your time in seeing another failed Will Smith action blockbuster.