Gemini Man film review: technology ahead of its time

Will Smith in Gemini Man.
Will Smith in Gemini Man.

GEMINI Man appears at first glance, with its poster of Will Smith facing off against a younger Will Smith, to be another vanity project for its star.

A closer look behind the scenes, with Academy Award winner Ang Lee directing from a story by Game of Thrones creator David Benioff, offers some tantalising hope for something better.

Unfortunately, the first instinct proves correct, with the twist in the tale being that it is also a vanity project for Lee, who uses the film to experiment with groundbreaking CGI and 3D special effects.

Lee, who created a digital tiger for his acclaimed film Life of Pi, has raised the bar with a wholly digital version of a young Will Smith. The film is also shot at an extra high frame rate on specially modified cameras.

The end result is a 3D film that at times looks absolutely stunning, with a clarity not seen before, and at others slightly unreal; perhaps it is simply a technology that is ahead of its time.

With so much time spent creating a fully rounded CGI character, it’s a shame that the rest of the cast is so two-dimensional and the script so lazily put together.

Smith plays Henry Brogan, an ageing assassin looking to get out of the game. But when he is informed that his last job was not as straightforward as it appeared, he is targeted for permanent retirement.

A younger, cloned version is sent to dispatch him; he’s faster, stronger and able to predict his every move.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong as a lazy, stereotypical Asian sidekick join Brogan as he seeks to find the truth from cartoonish villain Clay Varris (Clive Owen doing his best by chewing the scenery).

The dialogue is hammy and the plot predictable, though the action is entertaining.

If nothing else, it looks great and is an interesting insight into where technology in film is set to take audiences.

THE ESSENTIALS

Gemini Man

Two-and-a-half stars

Directed: Ang Lee

Starring: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen

In cinemas: October 10

Review by: Dave Friedlos

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