If we remove our feelings, would we be better soldiers? This is essentially the question asked by Ang Lee’s latest film Gemini Man.
It stars Will Smith as Henry, an army sniper desperate to retire after his lengthy list of kills begins to get the better of him.
When he gets hold of top-secret information that threatens to bring down the work of Clay (Clive Owen) and his organisation, Gemini, Henry becomes their target.
But who can bring down a soldier so skilled that he can take out a target on a moving train? Apparently only a younger version of himself, with all his skills but none of his insecurities.
A de-aged CGI Will Smith plays his cloned self and whether you can watch the film without finding this jarring may determine whether you enjoy it or not.
One other potential hurdle is that the film is shot at an unusually high frame rate. The effect of this is that the action almost doesn’t blur at all and looks unlike the movies that you’d be used to seeing.
Combined with the 3D viewing experience, it makes it feel like a video game at times, and at others, it’s as if you are right on the set. This might sound like a good thing but it detracts from the already thin story again and again.
Will Smith is reliably excellent and demonstrates exactly why you’d want more than one of him in a single film. He’s well supported by the likes of Owen, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong. The side characters though play a very minimal role in actually advancing the plot.
There’s just enough action, humour and philosophical questions to keep you amused, but the film never really pushes any of these to their outer limits, giving Gemini Man a middling feel.
It’s an easy watch that’s fast frame rate highlights every detail of the action for better or for worse. And though it’s unlikely to get a mention during award season, it’s a film that should be seen on the big screen, if you plan to see it at all.
SEE IT if…
You can’t get enough Will Smith
You like front-seat action
SKIP IT if…
CGI action turns you off
3D films make you nauseous
It gets 3 stars out of 5.
Not your thing? Read another review.