By David Lee Zamora
Special to the Parade
Gemini Man is a run-of-the-mill action film with a simple and easy plot. But even with its moments of fast-paced action, it still managed to become incredibly boring at times.
The film follows Henry Brogen (Will Smith), a hitman for the U.S. government who’s ever-growing conscience causes him to retire. After some time, Henry learns from a friend that his last target was not a terrorist but a scientist returning to Russia. The government tries to kill Henry and everyone he’s in contact with, using a younger clone of himself, Jr, who’s just as skilled and strong as him.
Now, I know that synopsis sounds very 90s, and that’s because the film was thought of in 1997 and has been in development hell since then. The film’s action scenes are, at times, fun, with its cool gun play, with the way Henry and his clone run up and down the houses shooting at each other.
But when it comes down to the fight scenes, the film’s quality shoots to the ground like an asteroid. That’s because the fights are both sped up and filled with CGI (Computer-generated imagery). All the fights look incredibly weird: they look more like an animation than a live action film, which is so strange, because there have been many movies and shows with twins/clones that are way better made than this film.
One great example, that beats this film in almost every way, in my opinion, is Double Impact, a Jean Claude Van Damme film where him and his identical, long-lost twin, also played by Van Damme, must fight to avenge their father from a Hong Kong crime boss, and it was released in 1991.
The CGI in Gemini Man is okay, it’s not perfect. The clone does look like a young, “Fresh Prince” era Will Smith, but its face definitely doesn’t have realistic skin, looking fake and at times off putting.
Smith’s acting is actually good, he shows emotion. I definitely felt for him at times, but that’s when he’s playing Henry. As Jr, his younger clone, he’s awkward and shy, really making it believable until you pay attention to his weird cgi face.
The other actors and actresses in the film don’t really add much. Even Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who plays Danny, a government agent who is sent to spy on Henry, who eventually joins him, doesn’t really leave a lasting impression in the film. Danny acts as a semi-love interest. I say semi because Danny and Henry flirt throughout the film, but nothing really comes of it.
The film is good for a shut-your-mind-off-and-stare-at-the-big-screen movie, but if you want a throwback to the fun, 90s Rambo or Universal Soldier franchise action films this isn’t it. I think if the film would have gone all-out with the cloning plot ,and taken itself way less serious, it would have been fun, but it doesn’t; and at the end of the day it’s just a poor imitation of the 90s.