“When I saw him, it was like I was seeing a ghost. Like every trigger I’ve ever pulled.”
Gemini Man tells the story of Henry, an all-star hitman for a CIA-like government entity, who after his retirement, leaves this government entity out a marksman. But when Henry begins to find out about the behind the scenes dealings, the government must get rid of him, thus creating a clone of Henry to take him out. Before I get into my review, let me ask you a question. Do you remember when Ang Lee directed Brokeback Mountain? Yes… those were good times. Now, do you remember when Lee directed Hulk? If we were to compare, Gemini Man, I’d say the film has the same missteps and failures as Hulk. Another black mark, if you will, on Lee’s career.
Gemini Man has so many things wrong with it, it’s hard to fully know where to start. Will Smith, whose career has led to more box-office bombs than successes, takes the reigns in this overly-saturated action piece. To be honest, Smith isn’t the main problem in Gemini Man. Though he doesn’t help its lack of success. His performance as Henry is quite fun to watch, with nothing much being asked of him in the acting department. The female figure in the film, Danny, whose played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, is outstanding. There’s a scene, early in the film, where she has to take a huge beating, and she puts everything she has into the fight scene. Winstead holds her own next to Smith, whose onscreen time sadly outweighs hers. Gemini Man could have benefited from utilizing her character more, but instead she falls in-line with the cliché of another female sidekick.
The biggest disappointment didn’t come from the acting, it came from the story, which gave the actors absolutely nothing to work with. Let’s just say, anytime you hear an audience member say, “What? But why,” out loud in a theater, 9 times out of 10, it’s not a good sign of a cohesive narrative. Gemini Man is so convoluted, that the only part of the film that remains somewhat engaging is the action, and even that’s a stretch. Even then, the special effects in Gemini Man, or lack thereof, just adds to the problems this film faces. With most of the action coming from Smith and his clone, the constant eye-sore of bad special effects in this film is simply inexcusable.
It’s hard to say what could have been done to save Gemini Man. The film is a complete mess from start to finish with very few enjoyable moments. The film never completely develops its characters, and by doing that, the ending comes off cringy and forced. Gemini Man is nothing but a hollow shell of an action film that had the possibility of being great.
Directed by: Ang Lee
Starring: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, and Benedict Wong