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film review

Will Smith, left, as Junior and Will smith, right, as Henry Brogan.Paramount Pictures/Paramount Pictures.

  • Gemini Man
  • Directed by Ang Lee
  • Written by David Benioff, Billy Ray and Darren Lemke
  • Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Clive Owen
  • Classification PG; 117 minutes


2.5 out of 4 stars

There’s an old adage courtesy of Jean-Luc Godard that says, “Cinema is truth 24 times a second.” Depending on what format Ang Lee’s Gemini Man is viewed in, that statement may need to be revised. Gemini Man, like the director’s 2016 war film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, was shot in 3-D at 120 frames a second, rather than the standard 24. This produces a crystal-clear, shockingly pristine image as the film follows Henry Brogan (Will Smith), a government assassin who finds himself being hunted by his own clone.

New films this week, from Eddie Murphy’s energetic comeback Dolemite Is My Name to Ang Lee’s story-lacking spectacle Gemini Man

The scenes between Smith and a younger version of himself, created through motion-capture and de-aging technologies, are an uncanny novelty. But the film’s greatest strengths are its action set-pieces, with kinetic hand-to-hand combat scenes and impeccably choreographed chase sequences populating a fair chunk of the run-time. These scenes are stunning and immersive when viewed in a 3-D format and an increased frame rate.

However, viewers less charmed by spectacle may find the story lacking and as a result, Gemini Man can feel like the best-case scenario of watching someone else play a video game. Time will tell if this trend of an increased frame rate will truly ignite a shift in the conception of cinematic truth, but for those who seek something new, Gemini Man is a uniquely visually thrilling film backed by Lee’s undeniable commitment and ambition.

Gemini Man opens Oct. 11.

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