Gemini Man stands out in one specific way that I want to point out before I dig in. This movie was apparently shot in 120 frames per second. A quick look at IMDB proves that. The film was shot on Arri Alexa and it appears the mass distributed format is 3.2 k 120 fps. I’m not sure whether my local theater showed the film at that speed or even if it can handle a film at that speed. That being said the film did show some signs of being higher than 24 namely water movement and foliage in film tends to look sped up. Also I found out about the higher frame-rate from watching a Corridor Crew video that touched on the VFX that went into selling fake punches at such a high frame-rate. The issue with this film and the reason I bring up the tech specs is because the film flickers.
Yeah, It was fairly patterned, if you decide to watch this film look at how the screen darkens about 10 seconds into each cut in the longer scenes. It was rather strange. Ok now onto the film.
Gemini Man is a popcorn movie through and through but it’s underlying themes and message are interesting, however it’s boring and copied spy movie themes keep it from moving the envelope at all.
Gemini Man opens with the story of Will Smith playing Henry Bogen, an ultra skilled hit man. He does generic hyperbolic spy things like speak to a handler who tells him when to “take the shot”. This film implies rather generic spy themes and keeps it up throughout the entire film. Henry Bogen is older and he wants to retire from intelligence agency. But intelligence agency thinks he is a loose end and they send agents to take him out but Bogen takes them out because he has Main-characteritus. Other plot points include a woman who is there to advance the story by looking straight ahead without blinking and asking people with guns not to do things very nicely. More spy movie tropes. Agents get burned, a super secret and advanced agency with an ambiguous name -Gemini – is headed by a man who has a connection to Bogen. The gimmick in this movie is another highly advanced agent is sent to kill him however he looks just like Henry.
Henry Bogen’s initial meeting with his younger clone is potently entertaining and it tells a story of young and nimble versus experienced and not-so-nimble. I really enjoyed the fighting in this film. The story never pushes deeper than a surface plot of a betrayal flick of friends who become foes and foes who become friends. It’s hard to say that anything in this move is a spoiler because the plot is taken right out of a my first spy movie textbook. Smith’s acting is on point though and the underlying themes and message are about father and son interactions and I found that subtext the most intersting.
The themes look at kids who follow closely in their parents footsteps and how they try to out do their fathers. Other themes tied to the gimic in the story look at the concept of cloning as a means to avoid sending real people to war.
Nothing about this film feels new, it’s twist on an overdone spy betrayal plotline don’t really push the envelope and the visual part of the movie like the initial fight scenes were clearly the most fleshed out putting this move succinctly in the POPCORN movie category of review.
Final score: 4/10 good fight scenes, A plot that is a lesser clone of other much better spy films like Oblivion.