Sharply clinical action sequences and digital technical prowess fails to ignite the thrills.
Filmmaker Ang Lee ventures into the digital de-ageing trend of modern cinema with this Will Smith offering, it’s a trend that comes with a fine line of balance to mix realistic visuals with a gripping and a well thought out script. Well, if you are hoping this get’s that balance right you are sorely under the wrong illusion.
Smith plays the Special Forces assassin Brogan, the best in business on the verge of retirement at the young age of 52. That retirement looks a long way off when out of the blue; he finds himself the target of another highly skilled assassin – a young energetic lad that looks like his younger double – looking more like his 15-year-old self, not the 23-year-old we are lead to believe. The remaining hour and 40 minutes consist of nothing more than a cat and mouse story leaving you wondering what happened to writing a script to go along with the action that pops out of the screen?
This is one of those films that start with no context and before you know it you are slap bang in the middle of the action wandering what the hell is going on. The action sequences are impressively sharp choreographed to within an inch of their lives with the first face-off between the young and old Smith battling it out amongst rooftops dodging bullets and high-speed car/bike chases. Far often than not its aesthetic technical aspects make this feel like a clone of a video game only heightened if you are watching in 3D.
If there was ever anyone that was typecast it’s Clive Owen. Owen plays Brogan’s cold and calculating boss Varris, a man who also has two-faces but not in the literal sense. Varris is the man responsible for Brogan’s clone; in fact, he is the mastermind behind the Gemini Project, a project designed to clone the best assassins in the world to make his army to send into world battle.
Brogan doesn’t flit from country to country to escape his assassin alone; he is joined on his fight to survive by colleague Agent Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and have a go hero Baron (Benedict Wong) who seems to just pluck some kind of Gulfstream jet out of thin air. Both just seem to tag along for the fun of it without having to put in much effort, shall we say they are there just to make up the numbers.
The de-ageing aspect is the only major player; the immense amount of effort put into making the younger Smith look real surpasses the highest of expectation. Even Smith’s acting takes a turn for the believable. The amount of time and effort that was made into making this look good someone along the lines completely forgot that a gripping script needed to fit the visuals.
Gemini Man is out in cinemas October 11th