Gemini Man - they had the technology but not the plot
FILM REVIEW: GEMINI MAN (12A), THE LIGHT CINEMA WISBECH, OUT NOW
STARRING: WILL SMITH, MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD, CLIVE OWEN AND BENEDICT WONG.
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 57 MINS DIRECTOR: ANG LEE
This action thriller had been in the melting pot for more than 20 years since it was conceived in 1997, with several directors involved and quite a few actors linked with playing the star role of ageing government assassin Henry Brogan.
The reason given for it stalling so many times was always the lack of the technology required to de-age the main character so he could fight a younger clone of himself. But it seems to me that in all that time no-one really tackled the formulaic plot. This film limps along from one predictable scene to another - and even when there is a bit of a twist, it doesn't excite.
It's almost like those behind the film had themselves some cool technology and were looking for a vehicle to use it on.
Although the effects that allow Will Smith's Brogan to battle a younger clone are impressive, the plot is not - and neither really are the acting performances.
Brogan is a Government hit man about to entire retirement when he realises his last kill was not all it seemed. Now his own Government want him dead and top-secret black ops unit Gemini are on his trail.
Brogan teams up with female agent Danny Zakarweski (Winstead) to escape the killers, while Gemini leader Clay Varris dispatches his top assassin 'Junior' to kill Henry. We soon realise what Junior really is.
But the plot is weak and the relationships don't work. Although charm and wit drips off Smith as it always does, there is no real spark or connection between his character and Danny, and even when he sees old friends Jack (Douglas Hodge) and Baron (Wong), the chemistry just isn't right.
And there are so many fight sequences and so little dialogue involving Junior that we don't really get a taste for his character... or a chance to really empathise with him, while Owen is just going through the motions as evil Varris.
And don't even talk to me about the final scenes. Absolutely cringe-making.
I'm afraid there was a good reason this film was on the back burner for more than 20 years - and it should have stayed there.
By Jeremy Ransome