Gemini Man surprised me. I really liked it. Ang Lee takes an odd turn to the more conventional style of filmmaking, however with innovations that impress. It stars Will Smith, Will Smith, Will Smith and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, there is a focus on the idea of duality and moral issues to do with the idea of human enhancement – think along the lines of Blade Runner, Lee tackles a similar theme and although it is no Blade Runner, the depth of emotion is truly investing.
One of the best action films in recent memory – Gemini Man is about character, there is meaning behind Smith’s characters violence and actions, it’s rather refreshing. Coming off of recent action films like Rambo: Last Blood where all character is dismissed in service for action. Gemini Man services its characters rather neatly, whilst having some of the most impressive action sequences in recent memory.
Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is a highly-skilled assassin who becomes the target of a clone who is able to predict and know his every move. The revelation of Henry having a clone comes along with many fights and moments of talk, trying to persuade the young Henry that he is being used, but he won’t budge.
Will Smith is hot off Aladdin, he steps into this role that is somewhat perfect for him. There is a strange sense of trust whenever Smith is onscreen, Lee plays into his charming and passionate persona, making Henry a character who cares and has a heart. Smith is great in all aspects, especially playing his younger self (with additional de-aging CGI to aid looks) in which it becomes hard to question if this is in fact ‘oldman’ Will or actually him in his prime Fresh Prince days?
The experimental use of using higher frame rates to film the fights adds a sense of impact, the action really packs a punch. The smooth motioned combat scenes showcase Ang Lee’s visionary ideas, these scenes are great, but only because we care and that is down to character. Smith is backed by an excellent Mary Elizabeth Winstead, whose performance is similarly charming and subtle. Also, Benedict Wong comes in and steals some moments.
The look of the shoot is rather bland apart from a few interesting choices in the colour grade. Specifically, the use of warm oranges in place of fiery explosion or bullet fire, it’s a stylistic choice that pays off and adds a little more spice to an otherwise kind of simplistic way of filming an action film (barring the higher frame rate fights).
The fundamental reason why Gemini Man works is its got a heart and sincerely carries this all the way through the chaos. There is meaning created in the actions that pursue. Gemini Man is a surprise and ranks among some of the best action films to come out in recent years.
4/5 Stars ★★★★☆