Screen Reviews

Published on October 11th, 2019 | by Kevin Given


Review: Gemini Man (2019)

Harry Brogan (Smith) is a government agent in a CIA type of organization whose purpose seems to be assassinating terrorist types. Only he finds out a little something about his last victim that he shouldn’t have found out about and now the organization is after him and who do they send to take out Brogan? A younger version of himself, again played by Will Smith. The older Smith comes across Danny Zakarweski (Winstead) whose sole purpose is to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t go rogue. Can Brogan defeat his younger self and the entire Government to achieve his goals?

My review:

The trailer intrigued me. Will Smith facing a younger version of himself. Is the younger version Brogan’s son, his clone, an android, or is time travel somehow involved? The trailer is brilliant and raises those questions without giving away too much. The opening scene of this film is exciting as we see Brogan take out what he thinks is a terrorist. He finds out later through another agent that the victim was not actually a terrorist. Of course, when the agency finds out they’ve been betrayed they take out said agent and go after Brogan. It’s never quite clear why they would want Brogan to take out that person since he isn’t really a terrorist. This is an interesting premise, but the script seems to be a first draft as we don’t learn much about the characters and their motivation. Clive Owen plays the antagonist, the head of the agency and his performance is solid enough, but the script is so juvenile I half expect him to say something like “I will destroy you! Muahahaha!” give him a mustache to twirl and he’s as generic an antagonist as you can get.

Brogan then happens upon Zakarweski. Again, another fairly solid performance and it’s interesting how Brogan discovers that she’s another agent sent to simply keep an eye on him. She, at first, denies it, but he reveals some stuff that only she would know and realizes that her life is also in danger, so, he winds up convincing her to come along. There’s no chemistry here at all, once again, it isn’t that the actors aren’t trying, it’s the lazy script that fails to service the characters. There’s no tension between the two, no conflict, no love interest angle. They’re both simply there to bounce exposition off each other. Yet another colleague shows up in the person of Baron (Wong) and again, he doesn’t bring a hell of a lot to the table. If Baron or Zakarweski weren’t in the film, we wouldn’t have noticed at all. They do nothing to further the plot along.

Will Smith’s performance is adequate, but not special. It’s intriguing to watch the interplay between his older and younger selves but the opportunity here is wasted. The characters do develop, but not at the pace we could expect, and the two Brogans should have learned a lot more about each other and, of course, themselves in the process. This premise is explored better in Star Trek: Nemesis, and that was the weakest box office performance of any Star Trek film. This movie seems to rely on its premise alone to keep the audience interested. The highlight of the film is its action sequences and pacing. Ang Lee is clearly one of the best action directors in Hollywood and his set pieces are the only thing keeping us in our seats until the very end. ** (4.6 rating)

Director: Ang Lee

Producer: Jerry Bruckheimer, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger

Screenplay: David Benioff, Billy Ray, Darren Lemke

Music: Lorne Balfe

Cinematography: Dion Beebe

Editor: Tim Squyres

Production company: Skydance Media, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Fosun Pictures, Alibaba Pictures

Distributor: Paramount Pictures


Will Smith

Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Clive Owen

Benedict Wong

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About the Author

Kevin Given has studied with "Longridge Writers Group" and "Writer's Boot Camp" a speech/communications major from the University of Maine Presque-Isle/Orono sites. He has created the "Karl Vincent Vampire Hunter" franchise which includes 2 novels and 8 comic books. They can be found on amazon, Indyplanet and Kindle. For a limited time you can get digital copies of "Karl Vincent: Vampire hunter" #1 and "Files of Karl Vincent" #1 for free on Indyplanet. Kevin is producing the third novel in the series "Dracula Rising" (working title) and developing "Foul Blood" into comic book form.

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