By Seth Lukas Hynes
Starring Will Smith, Will Smith and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Gemini Man is a rare case of wildly uneven parts producing an engaging thriller whole.
Retired government assassin Henry Brogan (Will Smith) must face off against a younger clone of himself (also Smith).
On the surface, Gemini Man looks like a dumb ’80s B-movie, but the film uses its absurd premise (and near-seamless doubling effects) to deliver some engaging character development.
Henry is shaken by the world of tension and violence he is pulled back into, and the clone comes to question his life and purpose in some poignant scenes of self-reflection and vulnerability.
However, when Henry and his clone finally talk about their history, Henry’s attempt at bonding falls flat, as he isn’t developed enough for the character traits he describes to resonate with the audience.
Clive Owen has an intimidating presence and a very inconsistent Bronx accent as Henry’s former boss, the catalyst for the film’s events is half-baked, and the film pulls a generic final enemy almost out of nowhere for the climax. The film is also poorly-structured, diluting the suspense with sudden, easy jumps to new locations.
Exciting but uneven, the action sequences are well-choreographed, frenetic and feature impressive stunts and some arresting imagery, but some are shot clearly while others are jerky and hard to follow, and the gun battles are the slow weak-link.
Gemini Man has solid performances and a compelling core of clashing identities, but the action and plot are extremely erratic.