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Too many Smiths aka Gemini Man

By Corey Floyd

One of the earliest signs that the movie might be bad is being in production hell for 10 years, sometimes times you end up getting winners like Avatar or Mad Max Fury Road. This was not one of those times.

Gemini Man was another swing and a miss for Ang Lee in the field of Sci-fi action. Lee, who is a two-time Oscar-winning filmmaker, does great work in the field of drama. Brokeback Mountain was a great example of that. Most of his accolades come from his work in drama even Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon had a moving story as well as great fight scenes. But then in 2003, we had HULK starring Eric Bana. The story was off the comic book page formatting was … Interesting. The villain was trash. Hulk looked too Cartoony. Like he was missing a level of rendering. Sadly, the sales showed it as well, even though it made 245 million it cost 137 million to make. Five years later they tried to reboot the hulk for the MCU and it did almost the same numbers. I think Lees Hulk was still on everyone’s mind, so they said no thanks to Ed Norton’s Hulk. Anyway, after 2003s Hulk he stayed away from the genre for quite some time and after Gemini man maybe his third try will be the charm.

The film Stars Will Smith a Hollywood superstar who has made some odd choices in this film lately, Bright on Netflix for example. He Plays Henry Brogan an assassin that’s seen it all and killed it all and is now weary and old.
 Clay Varris, played by Clive Owen, is the organizer of Smith’s early retirement plan that is supposed to be action-packed. I wouldn’t say it was chockfull of action, but it does have some good action sequences. The visual effect work done to make Smith look like Fresh Prince of Bell Air season one is remarkable, and the fight with himself is really cool. Clive Owen does a great job in supporting role which I keep finding him at lately (wassup with that?). Mary Elizabeth Winstead aa Danny is good. The cast is solid.

The story is where everything goes wrong.

Sci-fi action can work very well with this premise as long as you don’t complicate it. Which they did. I do want you to go and see it for yourself, so I won’t give the plot away. I’ll just say that the writer's room is where this falls apart. The script should be good considering who they have wielding those pens… Billy Ray who was aa writer on the Nazi B movie OVERLORD, Darren Lemke who was a writer for Shazam and Jack the Giant Slayer so he’s pretty decent at comedy especially in fantasy, all seemingly good choices, but they did produce any movie magic. Then you have David Benioff of GOT. Remember when the showrunners of Games of Thrones were running themselves thin because they were already starting new projects?! Well, this was that project, and we got aa half-ass last season of Game of Thrones for a half-ass Will Smith film. 

Ang Lee is a great director but when it comes to his ventures in sci-fi it’s the writer’s room that drags his name down. Even in 2003 Hulk, he had a 1 novice who wrote Freedom Writers and the other guy wrote Goldeneye and Cliffhanger. Great action films but dumb stories. Lee hopefully the third time will be the charm and maybe you should write it.

Gemini Man Final Grade: C


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