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EST. 1915

Gemini Man

In Gemini Man, Henry Brogan , played by Will Smith, one of the world's most highly skilled assassins -- able to take out a target on a moving bullet train from a hillside -- until he made his decision to retire. He said, “Seventy-two kills, Del. That stuff starts to mess with you a little bit. Deep down, it’s like my soul was hurt. I just want some peace.” In Georgia, Henry rents a boat to meet an old friend, who warns him that the man Henry just killed was actually a scientist. Then Henry realizes that his boat was tapped, and that the person who rented it to him is actually also a secret agent, Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Before they know it, snipers are coming after both Henry and Danny, so they hit the road with the help of pilot Baron (Benedict Wong) to try to figure out who is after them and why.


In Colombia, Henry is targeted by another sniper, and this one is different from all the others. In fact, he looks just like a younger version of Henry!

This sluggish, dull, special effects-driven movie fails twice: In engaging with an intellectual discussion of clones and in its attempt to find strong emotional ground on the same subject. Director Ang Lee continues his string of technology-advancing movies, but while Life of Pie worked nicely, and Gemini Man seem to have neglected the human connection. Even the real Smith seems muted here; he's normally a warm, funny, compulsively watchable actor, but in trying to convey Henry's lifetime of pain, he simply shuts down. The clone version is kept mostly in shadows to hide its fake, rubbery quality; a scene shot in bright sunlight really lets the seams show.


The story, which takes its characters all over the world, grows more and more implausible -- no one ever gets jet lag? -- and runs out of momentum before long. Aside from some professional-looking stunts and smooth chase scenes, the action only rarely thrills. But what's missing overall is a point. The villain has his reasons for creating clone soldiers. And they're not entirely appalling, but the movie's entire conversation about clones -- issues like permission, whether they have souls, and how they might be treated by humans -- is completely ignored. The folks who made Gemini Man clearly put in a great deal of work, but this high-concept movie only yields low-impact results- but Will Smith still hasA quality acting skills.

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