review by Bobby Blakey
Coming off the big success of Disney’s Aladdin and the highly anticipated third installment of the Bad Boys franchise it looks like Will Smith is back to kicking ass at the box office. Now he has teamed up with Life of Pi and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director Ang Lee for the action film Gemini Man co-starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen and Benedict Wong. Could this be another return to form for Smith or is going to just be too much Smith on the big screen?
Gemini Man follows a retiring assassin, Henry Brogan, finds himself pursued by a mysterious killer that can predict his every move. Discovering that he's being hunted by a younger clone of himself, Henry needs to find out why he's being targeted and who the creator is. The trailers promised some fun looking action and I am always a sucker for an actor playing duel role despite it not always working. While I did enjoy the film I must say there was a lot more downtime than I thought there might be, but not overly surprised being an Ang Lee film. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the pacing felt off and rushed at times where it didn’t need to be to get the story to move forward effectively.
While it wasn’t completely effective I still had fun with the film and it felt like an old school Will Smith film. He dived right into the material and brings the action hero side of him out like he never left. This time around he has the job of playing dual roles so has to offer up different emotions and personalities and it worked pretty well even when the CGI de-aging felt klunky. Most of the time it worked well for me, but there are a few sequences where it is pretty bad and takes you out of the moment if even for a second. The same can be said for the look of the action at times, but it makes me wonder if that had to do with this being shot at 120 fps, up from the default 24 fps, and in 3D, but only a dozen or so theaters in North America will be able to screen the film that way.
In the bigger picture I still enjoyed the film as a straight up action film and
for the most part the CGI Smith works great. The action that is here is high octane fun and brings everything you could want including an awesome motorcycle chase scene and bullets and fist flying in abundance. Lee has done something pretty incredible in relation to the technology with the film and although it is more or less a pretty standard action film should be recognized and given the respect to be able to show it as it was intended.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including an alternate opening, deleted scenes, and numerous featurettes taking you behind bringing this film to life. Grab your double dose of Will Smith when Gemini Man available now on digital, 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD from Paramount Home Entertainment.