Gemini Man (2019)
Director: Ang Lee
Screenplay: David Benioff, Billy Ray, Darren Lemke from a story by Darren Lemke, David Benioff
Stars: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Ralph Brown, Ilia Volok.
Tagline: Who will save you from yourself
Henry Brogan (Smith) is an assassin for a secret US government agency. He’s the best in the business, but the kills are starting to weigh heavy. Even though he’s “taking out” really bad people, it’s getting harder to pull the trigger. So after his last kill, Henry retires to a cabin by the sea at Buttermilk Sound, Georgia.
Soon after, Henry is contacted by a former partner. Henry learns that he was given bad intel for his last hit. The guy Henry assassinated wasn’t the threat to our government that Henry was led to believe. When Henry’s former partner is killed, Henry knows he’s next.
What Henry doesn’t know, is that one of the agents sent to kill him is his clone. If Henry’s the best assassin ever, how can he beat a younger, stronger version of himself?
Henry better figure it out and fast.
Thoughts (beware of spoilers)
Gemini Man has an interesting plot. The technology of 2019 is good enough to make a young Will Smith acting/fighting with his older self work.
Will Smith makes a good hero. He’s matched by an equally good villain in Clive Owen. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong are standouts. Winstead is believable in the quiet moments as well as when the action revs up. Wong provides restrained comic relief.
The action scenes come at a rate that allows you to go with the flow instead of thinking, this is a pretty by-the-numbers story.
Where the movie goes off the rails is the last battle between old Will, Winstead, young Will and a large number of heavy armored and armed agents. Despite the fact that they’re outnumbered and outgunned, Will and Winstead leave cover repeatedly to move forward. They kill agents by shooting them in the neck. Since the agents are wearing bulletproof helmets and armor, that’s the one shot that will take them out.
Then if you can accept that 51 year old Will has repeatedly battled 21 year old Will to a standstill, you also have to buy that 55 year old Clive Owen who has spent the last few decades behind a desk can also hold his own in a fight with the best assassin in the business. If your suspension of disbelief is still hanging in, wait until they bring out an even younger clone of Will Smith to kill the 21 year old clone and the original.
I was tempted to rate Gemini Man a “2” but until that last battle, it was a solid “3” so I’m going with that.
Gemini Man (2019) rates 3 of 5 stars.