GEMINI MAN (12)
D: Ang Lee
Paramount/Skydance/Fosun/Alibaba (Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg & Don Granger)
USA 🇺🇸 2019
W: David Benioff, Billy Ray & Darren Lemke
DP: Dion Beebe
Ed: Tim Squyres
Mus: Lorne Balfe
Will Smith (Henry Brogan / Junior), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Dani Zakarweski), Clive Owen (Clay Varris), Benedict Wong (Baron), Linda Emond (Janet Lassiter), Ralph Brown (Del Patterson)
With a plot and premise originally conceived in 1997 and going through various re-writes and passed around different directors for over two decades, Gemini Man was finally brought to the big screen by Ang Lee in 2019, although, on this evidence, perhaps they should have left it in development hell.
In this action flick, we get two one-dimensional characters for the price of one as Will Smith's government agent Henry Brogan is framed and faces off against a counterpart who is a younger, but equally skilled version of himself.
Aside from the plot device of Smith vs Smith, it's a storyline which has been done a fucktillion times before, and arguably to much greater effect without the need for smoke and mirrors thrown in beside excruciatingly poor expositional scenes.
The visual effects here really aren't as good as the filmmaker's wished they were and Ang Lee's baffling choice to film the movie at 120 frames per second which would only be beneficial if you found a cinema which had the technological upgrades to screen it in this format (they're incredibly rare).
Perhaps the film would have been much better if the dual role
was left as a surprising plot twist, rather than it being the prominent factor in the marketing campaign. I guess now we'll never know.
I wouldn't say this is the worst film of 2019, but it's certainly one of the worst screenplays. I can only scratch my head at how the production cost upwards of $138 million, because all that money simply isn't there on screen. One can only assume that Will Smith commanded two salaries.