The film follows government assassin Henry Brogan (Smith), who's looking to retire following his latest kill. When he digs a bit further into his last mission, he becomes the target of his own agency, as they look to tie up loose ends.
After Henry disposes of the first hit squad sent to kill him, his agency turns to their ace in the hole: a highly trained operative that turns out to be a clone of Brogan himself, created by his former commander, Clay Verris (Clive Owen).
To call director Ang Lee a visionary filmmaker would be an understatement. Ever since western audiences became aware of him following the massive success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Lee has pushed the envelope with every subsequent film, albeit with varying success. Lee has had his misses with films like 2003's Hulk and 2016's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, but he's also alternated those films with critically acclaimed projects such as 2005's Brokeback Mountain, and 2012's Life of Pi. In either case, what has remained consistent is Lee's vision and that is once again the case with Gemini Man.
Though the plot is basic, following the same beats and rhythms one would expect from a film of this genre, there are moments of brilliance spattered throughout. On a technical level the film is a beautiful showcase of technological achievements made in visual effects and visual fidelity. Lee and cinematographer Dion Beebe bring a visual flair to the film that not only serves as a visual canvas for Lee's creative vision with intricately choreographed and beautifully shot action sequences, but also the various locales in this globe-trotting adventure. From the bright open spaces of the bayou to tight claustrophobic catacombs, Gemini Man is a visual treat in its look and design.
The center of it all though, is its star Will Smith. The Hollywood megastar delivers his A-game in this film, playing the dual role of assassin Henry Brogan and his clone Junior. Never one to sleep through any of his roles, Smith tantalizes with his performances as older and younger versions of himself, as he's able to play not just a wide range of emotions, but experiences as well. The supporting cast is solid as well, with Smith having an affable chemistry with co-stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong.
All that said, the main problems of the film do come back to its basic plot. In spite of all the technical marvels and Smith's performance, it ultimately winds up serving a story that isn't as engrossing as it needed to be in order to be that exceptional moviegoing experience that it strives to be. It all feels for naught when there really is a disassociation between the performances and tech aiming high, while the plot settles for what amounts to being just serviceable.
In the end though, Gemini Man is a worthwhile film to check out. For fans of Smith and Lee, the flashes of brilliance by the two men in their respective crafts makes the film an enjoyable, if casual, watch. ~Paolo Maquiraya
Deleted Scenes - Two deleted scenes including "I Found a Plane for Us" and the original Yuri scene.
The Genesis of Gemini Man - Three-minute featurette in which producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Ang Lee, and star Will Smith discuss the developmental history of the project and the long process it took to finally be realized. The trio also discuss the modern technology in the film and the casting process that brought Will Smith on board.
Facing Your Younger Self - Six-minute featurette with Will Smith, Ang Lee, and Jerry Bruckheimer discussing the thematic relevance of the film's central hook, which is facing oneself. The featurette also explores the technology that made it all possible and both the acting challenges and rewards for Smith in playing the dual roles during the shoot.
The Future is Now - An 18-minute in-depth featurette highlighting the film's de-aging technology for Will Smith as well as a few of the film's action sequences.
Setting the Action - A 16-minute featurette that explores the film's various action sequences in their construction, choreography, shooting locations, and more.
Next Level Detail - Four-minute featurette that highlights the film's catacombs set piece.
The Vision of Ang Lee - Six-minute featurette in which director Ang Lee discusses the film's technological presentation in 4K, 3D, and 120 frames per second (high-frame rate), as well as the technology's relationship to the audience, the film, and its story.