Gemini Man is a action thriller film directed by Ang Lee, and written by David Benioff, Billy Ray, and Darren Lemke. The film follows a hit an who is targeted by a younger clone of him self while on the run from the government.
Gemini Man was originally conceived in 1997. The film went through a difficult development phase for for nearly 20 years. Several directors were at some point attatched to the film and actors like Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, and Sean Connery were set to star. The screenplay went through several rewrites from some writers at Disney and in October 2017 Ange Lee signed to direct the film for Skydance with Paramount handling the distribution rights.
At first glance, Gemini Man looks like a compelling fun action-packed film with an amazing talent that is Will Smith. I saw the film in 3D because that was all they had available for my schedule. I didn’t mind it, but I could have done without it. The film actually pushes to be seen in the best theaters because of its high frame rate video of 140 (FPS) for a crisper less blurry visual when it comes to the action. It was interesting to see although it made the film feel like a commercial which was too clean for an action film like this.
The visual effects were impressive and I wondered how they pulled off some of the things they did in the film. The stunt work was impressive as well. During the third act you could tell it was done on a set and not on a actual location, which left little to the imagination.
The computer-generated de-aged Will Smith was 100% CGI, the character interaction was done with a stand-in stunt person however through most of the film when you see the character it was CGI. The realisticness looked impressive however you can still tell it wasn’t real especially when the de-ages Will Smith moved his lips.
The plot was the worst part of this film. It almost felt as if someone wanted to test a new filming style and said: “hey can someone write me a movie so we can make something real quick with this new filming style”. However, according to this film’s development history, this is not the case as the film had 20 years to develop a deep immersive plot. The film could have easily passed for a Netflix original movie, or a limited series and it would have probably been better.
I usually dont talk about box office in my review however I wanted to bring up the reasons why I think the film flopped in the box office. The budget for Gemini Man was 158 million dollars, and on its opening weekend only took in $59.6 million.
The first reason why I think the movie didn’t fill seats, is that it wasn’t advertised enough. Studios have a budget for advertisement and it appeared that they didn’t utilize enough advertisement services to get the word out. So many people didn’t go see the film. Sometimes using big names like Will Smith would have filled seats but in this case, that didn’t happen.
I remember seeing the trailer for this film in the theater months ago, then I saw it again a few weeks ago online. Will Smith was plugging his new film on social media so I’m sure his fan base and followers either didn’t care too much for the film or just decided to see something else. The Joker film was also hard competition and people were more interested in seeing that instead.
Gemini Man is a moderate-paced action film with impressive visuals, stunt work, and a passable performance by Will Smith. It just suffers deeply with its subpar plot that drowns out what could have been an amazing jaw-dropping film.
Total Score: 4/10