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Gemini Man Movie Review - Tired Spy Plot but acting and CGI Great!

Will Smith times two is both touching and action-packed.

Reviewed by on Oct 11, 2019
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews Gemini Man in which Will Smith plays his middle-aged self and his 20-something clone. It is heartfelt and has some clever action and SPFX but spy plot is old hat.

In Gemini Man, Will Smith plays Henry Brogan, a middle-aged government top sharpshooter assassin who is duped into killing an innocent man. When he finds this out and objects, he is framed as a rogue agent who killed “friendly” operatives.

Henry is framed as a rogue agentHenry is framed as a rogue agentCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

His old military commander Clay Varris (Clive Owen) head of the secret “Gemini” project, sends a young assassin to kill and then replace Henry. This is especially threatening because the young sharpshooter is Henry’s clone!

Gemini Man Trailer


Ready to Retire

Henry Brogan, an aging government assassin, goes to Belgium to shoot a terrorist who is on a fast, silver-bullet train. Henry's young spotter on the train warns him of a little girl approaching the target so Henry delays his shot until the last second, shooting the man in the neck although aiming for his head. Realizing he is slipping plus being tired of killing, he goes home to Georgia and tells his boss he is retiring after 72 kills. He goes to rent a fishing boat and meets rental manager Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) whom he suspects of being assigned to keep an eye on him.

Henry teams with DannyHenry teams with DannyCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Friend Down and New Friend

On his fancy yacht, old friend Jack (Douglas Hodge) tells Henry that the man he killed was a talented molecular biologist who was never a terrorist. Henry has been used. He is told that a Russian named Yuri knows all about it. We see that Varris is listening to the whole conversation via satellite. One of Henry’s bosses is told by Varris to stop Henry or he will send “Gemini” after him. On the boat later, Jack is killed. Henry accuses Danny of being a government agent sent to spy on him and later apologizes but, on meeting her again, reveals he has researched her and proven he was right. She admits it but they hit it off.

Director Ang Lee with Will on setDirector Ang Lee with Will on setCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Attacks at Home and Abroad

A killer kills Henry’s young spotter from the train and comes to kill him. Henry escapes and, thinking Danny will be next, he goes to get her and they escape via a very fast boat.  Varris passes around the story that Henry is a rogue agent who killed fellow operatives. Henry and Danny go to Baron (Benedict Wong) another old pal of Henry’s, for help in Colombia. He puts them up but they are attacked by a mystery man/sniper. Henry leaves Danny in Baron’s care and gives chase through the streets and on motorcycles. This shooter is as good as Henry is. Henry finally wins but the assassin gets away.

Henry and Danny ask Baron for helpHenry and Danny ask Baron for helpCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

To Budapest

Looking for Yuri who was Jack’s informant, Henry, Danny and Baron fly to Hungary and Danny tells Henry that this kid who attacked looks a whole lot like him. He doesn’t want to hear it. Meanwhile, we see that Junior (computer-generated younger Will Smith) thinks of Varris as his dad, was raised by him and is training to kill Henry and replace him although he has doubts about doing it. Danny gives samples of Henry’s blood and Junior’s DNA to a friend who proves that Junior and Henry are the same person. Gemini wants a younger version of Henry to replace him. Henry learns from Yuri that the guy on the train was indeed a good guy about to put Varris out of business. Varris wants to produce an army of soulless soldier clones who feel no pain and have no consciences.

Junior meets with "dad" VarrisJunior meets with "dad" VarrisCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

In the Catacombs

Henry and Danny lure Junior to the basement catacombs of an ancient church where Henry is able to best and capture Junior. On seeing his face up close, Henry is freaked. He tells Junior that he is his clone and is being used to get rid of him. The kid doesn’t want to believe it, nor that his “dad” Varris cloned him and is using him as a weapon. Later, Danny continues to convince Junior that his older self Henry is a good guy and Varris is the baddie. Junior goes back to Varris and confronts him with the truth but Varris convinces him he loves him. Later, Junior injects Henry with bee venom which, since he is allergic to bees, almost kills him until Junior gives him a cure.

Junior about to meet Henry face to faceJunior about to meet Henry face to faceCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Working Together

Now believing that Henry is the grown-up version of himself, Junior decides to work with Henry, Danny and Baron to stop the Gemini Project for good. Varris has a secret weapon that might kill all three of them. Will Henry and friends plus Junior be able to stop Varris, his “weapon” and the whole project for good before it is too late? Will Henry and his younger self ever be friends?

Danny, Henry and Baron on the runDanny, Henry and Baron on the runCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Wrapping Up

Gemini Man is an entertaining film with creative action sequences, a bit of Will Smith humor and some really heartfelt, emotional scenes that will hook you into caring about both the older Smith character Henry and his 20-something clone Junior. Junior is a marvel of modern computer-generated imagery. Although the computer-created actor often appears in low light, Junior is totally convincing as a “real” younger version of Will. Kudos to the effects wizards! We wonder how many other CGI actors will appear in films in future. Will wore custom motion capture gear to enact the Junior character but the younger “actor” is still all computer created.

Computer-generated Junior is a wonderComputer-generated Junior is a wonderCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Acting is solid all around. It’s not just Will (both older and young) turning in a good performance but Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the young government operative who befriends Henry and Clive Owen as the very misguided Varris who thinks he is saving the lives of human soldiers by sending emotionless clones into war to be slaughtered.

Mary as Danny stands outMary as Danny stands outCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

Action sequences are fast and fun to watch and locations are colorful and interesting. The only big flaw in the movie is the been-there-seen-that spy plot. We’ve seen many movies about cyborg or cloned super-soldiers sent into battle with enhanced abilities but zero emotions. It’s a shame that such an interesting premise that guarantees emotional scenes between a character and his younger clone had to have such a common plot.

Clive Owen convinces as VarrisClive Owen convinces as VarrisCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

You will no doubt enjoy Gemini Man as we did, however. We can award four stars.

Gemini Man Movie Rating: 4

Gemini Man Movie PosterCourtesy of Paramount Pictures

See Gemini Man in theaters now!

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By: Lynn Barker