Will Smith in a still from the film's trailer. Picture Courtesy: YouTube/Paramount Pictures

Gemini Man Movie Review: Eye-pleasing but fails to garner attachment

By Johnson Thomas

Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 15:17 IST

The Oscar winning (Brokeback Mountain) Director has Will Smith play an elite hit man drawn into a deadly showdown with his younger clone

Gemini Man
U/A: Drama/Thriller
Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Mary Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Theodora Miranne, Linda Emond
Director: Ang Lee

Ang Lee's latest, long after his 'Life of Pi' high -- a long delayed project for which he came on board quite recently, has Will Smith playing dual roles as both a veteran assassin and his younger clone in an effects-overwhelming thriller. While Ang Lee appears to have taken a leap forward into ultra-modern cutting-edge action effects territory, Will Smith appears to be rekindling his action man persona for a friendlier run at the Box Office.

The Oscar winning (Brokeback Mountain) Director has Will Smith play an elite hit man drawn into a deadly showdown with his younger clone. It's an effects heavy representation with spectacular features provided by Peter Jackson's Weta Digital and Hollywood sci-fi legend Douglas Trumbull. So there's not much to crib about as far as the action spectacle goes. It's the underdeveloped script and thin high-concept plot that raises issue here. The assassin who self-admittedly is deathly allergic to bees is shown lying on a sunny hillside in Belgium to shoot dead his Russian target through the window of a passing express train. Isn't that a little stupid and totally illogical? Well how else will you have him display his unassailable skills, you may well ask??

The premise about a secret program of rogue government assassins is old hat, feels too familiar and is obviously unoriginal. Henry Brogan( Smith) wants to retire after 72 successful hits but since he apparently knows too much, his former buddy, Varris(Clive Owen) sends Junior( digitally enhanced Will Smith), a 25 year old biotech warrior clone of Brogan, to kill him. So now, Brogan is on the run with fellow rogue DIA officer Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and wise-cracking pilot sidekick Baron (Benedict Wong). And the inevitable happens. Shifting loyalties finally bring Brogan face to face with his hot-headed doppelganger -surrounded by lush, picturesque landscapes of Colombia, Hungary, and Georgia.

The regurgitated generic actioner formula doesn't inspire much and the poor writing quality dissuades deepening interest. The set-piece action does relieve the ennui of a formulaic set-up and stock characters but the overall adrenaline gush fails to arrest the backlash of a decadent creative. We've seen other ageing action stars ( Liam Neeson, Nicholas Cage) get back into kicking-butt form and Will Smith may be a far more convincing addition to this particular universe but the overall take home from this experience is rather shaky. The visual sorcery feels altogether factitious in this distended attempt to outgun the traditional big ticket actioner.

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