Gemini Man – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Gemini Man – Seeing Double: An Assassin’s Potential

In the wake of sequels and remakes, it is refreshing to see a film try to bring something a bit original to the big screen.  This creates a position where great things are possible, but also rears a point of trying to much might fail.  With this next entry from Ang Lee (Director), it’s a story that strings a lot of interesting concepts but doesn’t quite get to a point of wonderment.  Gemini Man is a thriller that dabbles in potential but falls flat in final execution.

The story revolves around Henry Brogan (Will Smith) a hitman who works for the US government.  In the beginning, you are introduced to Brogan as he is on his final mission.  Through circumstantial plot devices, the centralized plot pits him against his own government.  A basic On-the-Run/Spy Thriller concept, he struggles to find truth while being hunted by his own clone, Junior (Will Smith).  Ang Lee is a director known for creating great characters and visual prowess.  His ability to combine thematic detail with imagery sets the stage for the journey ahead.  He attempts this same kind of creativity through subliminal details about who is Henry Brogan.  This comes in the form of Will Smith playing his older and younger self.  By having to act methodically, this leads to genuine detail of characterization about self.  Having to fight yourself (mentally and physically), it creates a point of contention between the idea of potential and result.  You have Brogan, who has lived a life of killing.  With each death, it has taken a toll on his mental state.  You then have Junior, the younger version who is only being trained to kill without human emotions.  Their clash brings about themes that harness deep dramatic moments.  This is built up by Will Smith’s great acting and Ang Lee’s ability to focus on character dynamic to drive home raw emotions.

As the story progresses, these great aspects (themes and acting) begins to lose the battle against the story.  With the generalization of an On-the-Run/Spy Thriller, the introduction of pseudo sci-fi elements creates an unnecessary web of plot points and side character introductions.  The clashing of simplistic narrative with deeper concepts creates an illusion of something that isn’t truly there.  It creates a situation of over explanation of the obvious where plot development is hindered by the boundaries of a basic script.  With no attempt to develop beyond the concept, you get a hollow final act that becomes visual noise of what could have been great.  Gemini Man is an original story that tries to do too much with simplistic storytelling.  Even with a great lead and some genuine concepts, it never reaches the heights of being truly entertaining.  If you want to see this at the theater you can, but I would recommend leaving this for a Friday night at home.

Full Score – 2.5 out of 5 (Friday Night Rental)

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