Updated: Dec 15, 2019
Movies are a medium that consist of a plethora of genres. Some are more critically well received than others, but all entertain in their own ways. While dramas tend to reap higher praise, comedies and action films can be deemed worthy in their own right. The classic bellwether of what makes a movie great is how well it executes its intended message and how it delivers a cinematic experience. A horror film thrives by scaring audiences, while a comedy triumphs by inciting laughter. Action movies strive for greatness via the engineering of pure spectacle. Gemini Man meets the criteria, as it is an action-packed tale that is let down by an unfulfilling storyline, but nonetheless entertains on the back of some dynamically choreographed stunts and set pieces.
The story follows Henry Brogan (Will Smith), an aging hitman on the verge of retirement, who discovers that getting out of the game is easier said than done. As his former organization struggles to track down Brogan, they turn to Clay Verris (Clive Owen), the leader of Project Gemini, a program that creates clones of their best hitmen. Brogan must now face off against a younger version of himself, sent by Verris, and fight for his survival with the assistance of his allies, Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Baron (Bendict Wong).
The premise of Gemini Man is simple, the greatest hitman in the world takes on the younger, more elite version of himself. There isn’t much else going on as far as plot is concerned, fortunately the visual component to this work partially overcomes what’s on the page with incredible cinematography. The action scenes are by far the greatest strength of the film and keep the viewer locked in the majority of the time. This combination of outstanding stunt work and solid camera angles help generate the best choreographed fights in recent memory.
The film’s performances don’t come off great as a result of the poor dialogue, but Will Smith is able to rise above the material with a solid dual role performance. Being tasked with portraying multiple characters in a film is always an intriguing challenge, and Smith seems to relish the opportunity, holding the viewer’s attention throughout as either character. The visual effects of the time aren’t quite at the point where a young CGI version of Will Smith can be seamlessly executed, but outside of a scene or two it doesn’t overly distract from the performance.
Overall, Gemini Man is a highly entertaining movie with some of the greatest action set pieces and most stagnant dialogue seen this year. Will Smith gives a quality effort in dual roles, that along with one of the best chase scenes witnessed in the history of cinema are worth the price of admission. I give it 3 out of 5 stars and recommend it to fans of Will Smith and the action genre.