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Gemini Man

Technology is a huge bonus for science fiction films. Every year sees a movie grabbing any new technological advance in order to aid its story. ‘Gemini Man’ has made boasts about its use of de-ageing wizardry. Featuring the lead actor as younger/older versions of himself which mostly works. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of a plot as derivative as more poorly made productions.

Government assassin Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is looking to end his long career. His retirement plans are thwarted when a mysterious person attempts to kill him. Discovering his assailant is a younger cloned version of himself, Brogan seeks answers. He thinks he may find it with Clayton Varris (Clive Owen). The sinister head of a deadly organization, Varris holds the fate of Brogan’s life in his hands.

Ang Lee directs ‘Gemini Man’ with a leaden hand. It’s strange why he should as works such as ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ found him soaring with his imagination. ‘Gemini Man’ is the opposite. Cliched, uninspired with unmemorable action scenes, we’ve seen it all before. The gimmick of ‘Will Smith doubles’ generally works although the meagre plot drags any gains down.

Not even the performances can lift ‘Gemini Man’ from the doldrums. Smith and his co-stars are fine even if they convey little passion. Whilst Ang Lee is a gifted director, he has trouble eliciting forceful performances. Everyone is going through the motions with stunts occasionally enlivening a pedestrian screenplay.

Whilst technology has pushed sci-fi films and TV into other realms, it sometimes adds little. ‘Gemini Man’ offers an enfeebled plod through a catalogue of science fiction tropes. Story is always the key as it unlocks a world of wonder that ‘Gemini Man’ sadly lacks.

Rating out of 10: 5

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