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Gemini Man - Review


Ang Lee's action thriller features Will Smith playing, well, Will Smith. Jam-packed with awesome fight sequences and plenty of special effects, this film brings the question of how much CGI is too much CGI? Smith stars as Henry Brogan, a government assassin who is hoping to settle into retirement. When he learns that his agency is trying to murder him, he befriends a fellow agent and teams up with his old colleague to find some safety and figure out why his life in is danger. A skilled killer is sent to find Brogan and when the pair meet, Henry is shocked to see that the assassin looks exactly like him. From a DNA test result, it is revealed that Brogan and the gunman, whose name is Junior, have identical DNA. Junior is Henry's younger clone. Boasting a budget of up to $160 million, it's clear that a large amount of money was spent on the film's visual effects. Just like Lee's previous film (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk), the movie was shot digitally at a high-frame-rate, which was also modified for 3D. This is evident in any action sequence which didn't look quite as authentic as other, traditional action films. The unbelievable abilities of technology nowadays means that audiences can be transported into different worlds and immersed in the events on screen in a realistic way. One downside of Gemini Man was that the fight excerpts looked 'too' computer-generated. The motorcycle chase was epic on every scale, exploring just how dangerous a motorbike can be if you've had the right training. But the high-frame-rate just took the originality away from it.


This links to the de-ageing of Smith throughout the film, or the issue with the continuity of it. When the character of Junior was first introduced, he looked physical and genuine - very much advertising the amazing capability of 21st-century special effects and motion capture. However as the film progressed, it was almost like the post-production team had spent less time and focus on making sure Junior appeared as real as possible. By the film's final scene, it was pretty clear that the character had been digitally inserted into the sequence. This was disappointing knowing the effort and hard work that Will put into playing both roles, especially Junior.


Sacrificing a succinct plot and script for enthralling thrills perhaps didn't work in Gemini Man's favour. Yet Smith's performance was still very entertaining and the movie will be enjoyed by audiences who enjoy high-octane, fast-paced action. I won't be rushing to watch this movie again but it's a nice addition to Will's current filmography.

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