Not quite 65,000 years in the making, Gemini Man went through several actors, writers and producers in its 22-year development hell before landing in director Ang Lee and producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s corner. Will Smith, after being blue genie in Disney’s live action adaptation of Aladdin now plays 50-year-old government hitman, Henry Brogan, who decides to retire after a job nearly goes wrong. The suits will have none of that and rather than throw him a party and give him a watch they send a faster, meaner version of Henry to retire him permanently.
Beautifully shot, (Henry’s bonsais are very pretty, the views are eye popping and the motorcycle chase breath-taking) in Cartagena, Colombia and Budapest, Gemini Man moves smoothly along predictable lines. The de-aged Will Smith, Junior, is slightly distracting while the daddy issues and nature versus nature debates are broken down into bite-size psycho-babble. Incidentally Henry and Junior in the same frame bring to mind a certain archaeologist-adventurer with a fondness for a Fedora and bull whip (Harrison Ford was supposed to star in some iteration of the film). The third act unfortunately dissolves into mind numbing flash-bangs — one can almost imagine Bruckheimer chomping at the bit at the dreamy exposition.
- Director: Ang Lee
- Cast: Will Smith, Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Benedict Wong
- Story line: A hitman finds his clone in the cross-hairs
- Run time: 117 minutes
Smith wears his 51 years lightly while Clive Owen as the wicked Clay Varris, the director of the Gemini programme — he wants to play god and create super-soldiers who feel no pain and never stop (where is the T-1000 when you need them) — looks like he is still suffering the headaches he did as The Professor in The Bourne Identity. Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Danny Zakarweski, an operative who aligns herself with Henry once she realises the agency’s retirement policy.
With tighter writing and a not-so predictable plot, Gemini Man would have been a superb film instead of the middling one it is.