Director: Ang Lee
Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen
Release Date: January 14, 2020
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Will Smith stars as retired hitman Henry Brogan, forced on the run by a young, highly skilled operative who will stop at nothing to eliminate his target. Now on a race around the globe, Henry must outsmart the mysterious assassin at every step – but how far will he go once they finally come face to face? Packed with epic fight scenes and groundbreaking visual effects, GEMINI MAN is the future of action movies.
‘Gemini Man’ tells the thrilling story of retired hitman Henry Brogan (Smith), the best there is in his profession, yet haunted by the history of his kills. After retiring to a relaxing town intending to do nothing but fish and enjoy life, he finds himself under attack. After foiling the hit put out on him, Henry sets out on a mission for answers believing that those who employed him must be the same individuals trying to eliminate him. But when a deadly assassin with talents to match his own shows up and he barely escapes with his life, he discovers that the assassin appears to be a younger version of him, and with the talents to match. Now, Henry must race around the world as he tries to stay alive long enough to get answers to these mysterious questions and hopefully put an end to it all.
Directed by talented filmmaker Ang Lee (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Life of Pi) from a screenplay by David Benioff (TV’s Game of Thrones), Billy Ray (Terminator: Dark Fate) and Darren Lemke (Goosebumps) and from an initial story by Benioff and Lemke, Lee does a solid job at the helm of ‘Gemini Man’ guiding along the action and fun with a smooth and visually outstanding style. The film’s cast features a number of talented individuals and includes Will Smith (Bad Boys), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (10 Cloverfield Lane), Clive Owen (Inside Man), Benedict Wong (Avengers: Infinity War) and more, the majority offering fitting and generally solid performances overall in each of their respective roles.
‘Gemini Man’ is a highly entertaining, frequently action-packed and visually breathtaking film that delivers some impressive technical achievements merely in the competence of its creation alone. It’s a fast paced and intricately detailed action film unlike anything you’ve seen brought to life and while it may find itself somewhat lacking in the story department and a few other areas, it can almost be forgiven to a degree due to the power of its strengths. Director Ang Lee has never been one to shy away from strong opinions in filmmaking and he returns to the shooting style used for his previous film here, capturing ‘Gemini Man’ in 3D at 120 frames per second and finished in 4K (a pretty much unheard of feat aside from Lee’s work) which results in a remarkable smoothness and uncanny detail within, allowing us to see just how detailed and realistic a mostly digitally crafted character can actually be, the comparison between the older and unaltered Smith to the digitally created younger edition is really quite amazing. I would strongly encourage fans of Ang Lee, Will Smith and action movie lovers in general to try and make a point of giving ‘Gemini Man’ a fair chance and not be overly dissuaded by the negative reviews. It admittedly isn’t perfect in every way, but its far better than many would have you believe, and the action sequences alone combined with the detailed and downright amazing technological accomplishment of its creation should be more than enough to make it well worth a couple hours of your time, and probably even the cost of a rental.
Overall, ‘Gemini Man’ is a swiftly paced and visually stunning ride from filmmaker Ang Lee with some gorgeously crafted action sequences and a surprisingly passionate performance by Smith in not only one role, but two. ‘Gemini Man’ is definitely recommended, especially for dedicated fans of Will Smith and filmmaker Ang Lee, as well as anyone who tends to appreciate a visually spectacular action movie with plenty of stunning action sequences and intense fun to offer throughout. The technical accomplishments within such as Smith playing two characters of noticeably different ages and just how detailed and well rounded the digital version manages to hold up are worth a look alone. If you’re only casually interested in ‘Gemini Man’ it probably isn’t necessary to go out and immediately get your hands on a copy, but I would strongly suggest at least giving it a whirl at some point down the road.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Gemini Man’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks downright phenomenal, delivering a beautifully sharp, smooth and remarkably detailed presentation with vibrant colors that looks nothing short of perfect from start to finish. Even with the Blu-ray release utilizing a 24 frames per second presentation (the 4K Ultra HD release features a 60 fps edition), the original 120 fps shooting method still shines through here, and even the fast moving and darkly lit sequences look spectacular, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected in the slightest, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a stunning high definition video presentation that looks remarkable every step of the way and is easily one of the best Blu-ray presentations in recent memory.
The Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a crisp, sharp and notably aggressive audio presentation throughout. It repeatedly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send bullets, vehicles, debris and plenty more consistently whipping throughout the various speakers along with music, crowd chatter and other minor audio elements, while never conflicting with any dialogue or other audio content that may be occurring simultaneously. Overall, this is a wonderful Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that sounds fantastic from start to finish and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Gemini Man’ includes some worthwhile extras that fans of the film should enjoy. Included on the release is an ‘Alternate Opening’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length), along with a couple of ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 4 minutes combined) and various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore bringing the film to life and include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘The Genesis of Gemini Man’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘Facing Your Younger Self’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘The Future is Now’ (approximately 18 minutes), ‘Setting the Action’ (16 minutes), ‘Next Level Detail’ (4 minutes) and ‘The Vision of Ang Lee’ (6 minutes).