Will Smith is back in theaters this week in action-thriller Gemini Man. Hollywood has apparently given up trying to find someone who can go head to head with Will Smith, instead deciding the only one to possibly take him on is… Will Smith. Everyone’s favorite actor plays an assassin who faces his toughest challenge in the form of his clone sent to kill him after his retirement.
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With a 25% score on Rotten Tomatoes and an opening weekend box office of just under 27 million dollars, I see Gemini Man as highly underrated. It’s a fun action film with an interesting premise starring two versions of Will Smith using inventive visual effects. These effects aren’t the same as the digital de-aging you’ve become familiar with in films such as Captain Marvel. Young Will Smith is a completely CGI character using a mixture of visual effects and motion capture. It’s a huge step forward with technology and looks fantastic. The character performs everything from intense fight moves to scenes where he is literally crying, and it’s hard to tell Will Smith didn’t time travel for the role. While there are a couple of moments where you get a little uncanny valley or something doesn’t look quite right, it is otherwise flawless visual effects work.
It helps that the cloned subject is Will Smith. It’s nice to see Will back on screen as something other than the Genie. He turns in another charismatic performance to help sell a character that isn’t written particularly well and would be bland in the hands of a lesser actor. Clive Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Benedict Wong also appear in supporting roles, with all being fine. No one stands out, in either a good way or a bad way.
The biggest issue I saw with the movie is that the inventive idea of Will Smith battling his clone shows up in a really unoriginal and boring story. The idea of a retiring assassin being a target of his own has been done hundreds of times. Besides a young Will Smith, nothing is different about this movie than all those you’ve seen before. There aren’t any twists and turns to make it interesting. The story is just there to serve the visual effects, which is disappointing.
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With that said, I came out of Gemini Man thoroughly entertained by both versions of Will Smith battling it out in some great action set pieces. While I would have liked a little more from the movie, I didn’t think it was as bad as many others have said. It might not necessarily be worth seeing in theaters, but I’d recommend giving it a watch in one form or another, if only for the fantastic visual effects.
All in all, Gemini Man is worthy of a Positive ROP.
Ratings from low to high: Felony, Misdemeanor, 10-4, Positive ROP, Golden Donut