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Gemini Man (A PopEntertainment.com Movie Review)

Gemini Man

GEMINI MAN (2019)

Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Douglas Hodge, Ralph Brown, Linda Emond, Ilia Volok, E.J. Bonilla, Victor Hugo, David Shae, Theodora Miranne, Diego Adonye, Lilla Banak, Igor Szász, Alexa GyÖrgy, Fernanda Dorogi, Alexandra Szucs, Tim Connolly, Daniel Salyers, Jordan Ruth Sherley, Tony Scott and Jeff Authors.

Screenplay by David Benioff and Billy Ray and Darren Lemke.

Directed by Ang Lee.

Distributed by Paramount Pictures. 117 minutes. Rated PG-13.

Gemini Man is a great time from start to finish, as long as you don’t think too hard and enjoy the ride.

Let me start by saying, I legitimately enjoyed Gemini Man. Despite its many flaws, I can say that it’s an entertaining action movie filled with crazy visual effects and some great acting performances.

However, like many action flicks of its type Gemini Man is bogged down by a bare-bones script and an overall muddled sense of its story. If you think about the story of Gemini Man for more than a minute or two, it basically falls apart.

I wish that wasn’t the case, because I really think there was something there. This movie could have been a compelling mystery mix of sci-fi and action, not too far off from the classic Will Smith film iRobot. Instead it’s more like any spy-chase-spy movie, in terms of story, except there’s two Will Smiths.

In short, as much as I was entertained by Will Smith beating the hell out of his younger self and vice versa, my main gripe with this film is how surface level it chose to be.

All that being said, let’s get into the performances of Gemini Man. From the start, I really think Will Smith puts on a strong performance here. He plays Henry Brogen, a grizzled U.S Army special ops/assassin who is “growing a conscious” as the movie puts it and now wants to retire and stop killing people, basically.

Sound simple enough? That’s because it is. You’ve seen this character before. You’ve seen Will Smith play this character before. But I really enjoyed it all the same. Will Smith is constantly on the ball, a mix of funny, cool, and dangerous; really reminding me of his classic self a lot throughout the movie, which is funny being that I’m about to talk about his classic self soon enough.

I also enjoyed his partner in crime, Danny, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The role was unique for a movie of this kind. What I mean is, she and Will Smith, both Will Smiths actually, have great onscreen chemistry without any forced romance plot written into the script, which I found so refreshing. Danny is just a straight badass spy herself and enhances the movie with her presence.

I thought the same about Benedict Wong’s character Baron, who from the moment he arrives on screen brings the film up a notch with his jokes and overall chemistry with the rest of the cast. For all these solid performances, I really wish there was a solid story for them to be performed in rather than the pretty basic one we end up with.

The worst performance in Gemini Man was without a doubt Clive Owen. He played the villain – his character name escapes me already – and he did so piss poorly. Every line that came out of his mouth felt overdone and corny. I hated how completely underwritten his character was. We know nothing about him at the start and feel like we know even less by the end. The same can be said for the overall “conspiracy” aspect of this movie as well, which his character revolves around.

Now, for my favorite part of Gemini Man – the visual effects. My biggest worry going in was that the visual effect of two Will Smiths was going to look awful and kill the movie for me before it began. Honestly, that was anything but the case. Shout out to everyone who worked on the visuals for this movie, because the young Will Smith character (especially when he’s on screen alone) feels, looks, and moves pretty damn close to a real actor.

It really felt at times like Independence Day-era Will Smith was back on screen. And the fight scenes between them are incredible, if anything the fight scenes with the extras and other actors felt weak by comparison. There were moments, though – mostly at the very end – where the effects looked really bad. While they were few and far between, when they did happen it’s obviously hilarious and can take you out of the movie for sure.

In the end, I think Gemini Man is the best Will Smith movie I’ve seen in a while. While most critics will probably tear it up to no end for its weak story and disappointing villain, I really want to make clear that this is an entertaining film and its worth watching. The effects are dope, the fight scenes are intense, the performances are good. If you love Will Smith, you literally get two times the usual Will Smith. What’s not to love? Maybe wait to see this movie when it comes out on streaming services, but no doubt give it a watch.

Austin Gomberg

Copyright ©2019 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 11, 2019.

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