Was that it?
“From the visionary mind of Ang Lee” screamed the trailer to which I wonder if the Oxford English dictionary would like a word because whilst Ang Lee might be a visionary (and I can see plenty of arguments either way) I don’t think he had much to do with this.
Written by the hack behind X-Men Origins: Wolverine might be a better idea.
A film that was supposed to be released in 1997 starring Clint Eastwood which proves Daniels third law of film criticism- If a film has been in development hell for more than ten years just put it out of my misery – would be so much better.
A dark look into cinemas future would be perfect.
Because plot wise there’s nothing here that you haven’t seen before before and done better. You want an over the hill assassin being targeted by a younger assassin? Assassins was released in 1995 and got star Sylvester Stallone nominated for an award. I mean it was a Razzie but an awards an award.
Or, if you would like a film about an agent being relentlessly pursued by their own Government then I can recommend the Bourne franchise as well as a good anti-migraine medication.
But I get away from myself. Gemini Man- which has nothing to do with the American action-adventure drama series that aired on NBC in 1976. Instead it is about, as you’ve probably guessed by this point about Will Smiths retiring hit-man being pursued by a younger hit-man who turns out to be his clone and trained to be his superior in every way.
Now, there’s a lot here that you could work with- nature versus nurture, the morality of breeding clones purely for combat, possibly sparing ‘real’ humans from life changing physical and mental images, to never again have a mother bury a child, or even the hypothetical of what would you say to a decades younger you?
Sadly there’s not really that much debate in this film, I wasn’t exactly expecting Matrix levels of dialogue and debate but some sort of debate about the morals and ethics would be nice.
And whilst i’m working on my wish list to Santa, I would also like some character development, a slightly more original plot, some decent stuntwork, a slightly more original plot and would it be too much to ask for a slightly original plot?
I mean yes, this is still a passable film- Will Smiths boundless charisma can (and indeed has) carried far worse than this but if you look beyond the fact that your getting two Smiths for the price of one and instead realize that much like this years utterly ghastly Lion King remake that this is not really a film in and of itself but a tech demo disguised as a 138 million dollar film.
I mean the drokking thing was filmed at an extra-high frame rate of 120 fps, modified for 3D, neither of which were in my screening but even so, I’ve always found that this technique makes films look cheap and after a while just made me feel weird.
But the main draw of this film is its facial technology which means that not only can aging film stars now by grafted pretty well onto younger bodies (oh, I did try to find out who was playing young Wills body but I just could’t. Which does not bode well for the future of film.) I mean with this kind of tech, death doesn’t mean that actors stop working. Or action stars don’t get too old to do action films. The possibilities for this tech (once perfected, there were still a few uncanny valleyesque shots here and there.) Are boundless and incredibly morally dubious.
But back to Gemini man and we find that it’s best action scene- a highly inventive motorcycle chase goes on that touch too long and brought out at least two unintended chuckles from me. Other than that, theirs just nothing really here.
As a film Gemini man is generic and highly predictable. It has bits of cardboard that spout exposition as opposed to secondary characters and slightly thicker bits of cardboard posing as our leads. It has no intention of taking part in the debates that it could (and indeed should provoke) and highly generic action scenes which you’ve seen done before and better.
But this isn’t a film, it’s a glimpse of our highly tedious, deathproof future of cinema.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
My Score- Skip It