I’ve never had a problem tearing apart a film put together through laziness, in fact, its quite cathartic in a sense. But, with Gemini Man, I’ve found that I can’t dig too much into it due to the apparent effort that went into this film, which helps its “watch-ability”.
Gemini Man revolves around Henry Brogan, the top-hired assassin who, after trying to retire, is pulled into a game of cat and mouse when the U.S government hires a clone of himself to kill him.
Will Smith brings a natural charisma to any project and in this film, he gives more of an actual character piece by trying to play both his 50-year old present self and his 27-year old clone with the help of motion-capture effects. It helps the film that Smith is trying so hard not to phone it in, which helps the viewing experience be more impactful. The issue comes with the rest of the movie.
Director Ang Lee has many interesting shots in this film however they don’t flow together. In the first ten minutes, there’s a panoramic shot of the train demonstrating how fast it’s going, then it cuts from a widescreen perspective to full screen without any transition. Now, this is a small critic and I congratulate Lee’s attempt to have interesting shots as opposed to just phoning it in with regular quick cuts. It’s when scenes have no connection to each other and are stitched together without any reason that it becomes distracting to the audience. It leaves it feeling like a video game cut scene.
Speaking of video games, the other huge issue is the motion-capture effects of young Will Smith. When the setting is dark, it does look semi-realistic. When the scenes actually visible and they’re just talking? It looks like a 2000’s call of duty model imported next to the actors. Even the actors seem uncomfortable when they just stand around lifeless whenever the clone is around, having the entire film being distracting for the audience and not caring about the story.
In the end, the premise isn’t that original, yet it comes off as though everyone cared in the film and they were trying. The issue of the visual effects and the Frankenstein editing job, however, leave the film very forgettable with the only memorable part being how bad CGI Will smith looks in day-light.