It should have worked. An Academy Award winning director (though action is not his forte), a bankable lead actor, a solid supporting cast, and the seed of a solid story. Will Smith gets his Bourne on (a couple of times) in Gemini Man, the Ang Lee action film that comes home on blu-ray and DVD from Paramount Pictures today.
Ang Lee, a fantastic director with the right material, makes great use of colour, framing and locations. Will Smith is as likeable as always (though some of his delivery seems a little off), but the film’s editing, specifically during its action sequences needs to be tighter, more frenetic to reflect the moments and the chaos we see on screen.
Benedict Wong, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen round out a supporting cast that sees Smith playing Henry Brogan, a sniper who is ready to retire, but his one last job has a lot of loose ends. And he’s one of them.
So they send the best man for the job to take Brogan off the board. Himself.
The story has some problems, and there are some drops in logic, some of the VFX are iffy, others look stunning. There is some obvious green screen work, and some of the de-aging on Smith for his younger self, Junior, could have been better (it’s something with the mouth and teeth that really shows that this is more computer programming than man).
This story, and its pacing really hold the film back. Tighter action sequences and some better choreography for the fight sequences, as well as taking the time to even out the story a little more and address some of the faults could have made this one unbeatable at the box office.
But instead it feels a little languid and uninvolving. It’s just weird. This one could have been huge. Instead it is relegated to oddity, to misfire, but is still worth a look. And the extras on the disc make the blu-ray edition worth it.
Not only does the film look great, the locations pop with vibrancy, but there are deleted scenes and featurettes documenting the making of the film, how Smith brought his younger self to life, and the computers that helped do it.
Lee is a fantastic director, Smith is a wonderful actor, but the script and the editing just don’t work, and that’s too bad.
Having said that, I still enjoyed seeing Smith get to a different kind of action star, and I love seeing the films Ang Lee creates. If you feel the same way, check out Gemini Man on blu-ray and DVD from Paramount Pictures today!