Gemini Man is a run of the mill Will Smith action movie, but with double the Will!
Score: 3 / 5 (Normal 2D non-High Framerate version)
There’s something refreshing about watching a Will Smith action movie. It won’t necessarily surprise you every time but they are always entertaining popcorn movies. Gemini Man falls into this camp nicely with some interesting dabbling into more fancy special effects technology.
Gemini Man follow’s Henry Brogan (Will Smith), one of the best hitmen in the world ready to retire. It’s when he decides he is out of the business that he is now being hunted by a younger clone of himself. I’m going to get this out of the way now. This movie’s story would have been much more interesting from the start if you didn’t have to sell this movie as “Look it’s two Will Smith’s! How? Oh one is a clone.” For viewers it cheats them on what could have been a shocking story beat. Which fine okay, I can work with that. Luckily the movie doesn’t spend too long dancing around this topic or otherwise it would have been a major negative to the movie kind of like the last several Terminator movies that gave away huge reveals in the marketing.
The story isn’t bad, but it’s not a massive selling point either. If you generally like the premise, you’ll enjoy the events that unfold. What will make or break this movie is if you enjoy the acting of Will Smith and his style of action movie. While I enjoy the young Will Smith days of old, I much more appreciate the more nuanced Smith that we get now which makes even the average plot feel stronger. You can see depth in his character and the action is great.
While we are on the topic of Will Smith acting, as the trailers push Smith is also playing a younger version of himself named Junior. Again, Will Smith does a great job playing a conflicted younger version of himself and it’s fun to watch him play off of his other character. In terms of does the visuals work for the younger Smith? I’d say it looks pretty great most of the time. There are a few moments that are a tad uncanny valley looking but for the most part the technology keeps improving to scary proportions.
Along the for the ride is the always fun to see on screen Mary Elizabeth Winstead who can be equally bad-ass in action scenes along Smith, and then you have Benedict Wong adding some additional humor to the mix. Then there is Clive Owen’s Clay Verris, who’s goal has some bullet points that sound reasonable until you get into the whole playing God thing. His character is the weakest part of the movie because although there is effort to make him not seem all evil, there is just something off about it in a not interesting way.
Really though, you aren’t going to a Will Smith action movie to see a deep character piece about the villains, you are going to see the charming super cool Will Smith, be charming, and cool, and do action-y stuff. That’s what Gemini Man is, and you even get two of him in one movie. Neat! So if you like the I, Robot / Bright style type of Will Smith movie, you are gonna enjoy yourself nicely.