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‘Gemini Man’ advances age reduction technology, character development, dialogue proves unsuccessful

Originally published on October 25, 2019

After completing his 72nd job, the legendary sniper Henry Brogan (played by Will Smith) decides to retire. However, he is forced to flee after becoming the target of an elite assassin who can predict his every move. He comes to find that the hunter is a younger clone of himself, and it’s up to Brogan to find out why he’s being pursued and, in the process, discover who is responsible for the creation of his double.

While “Gemini Man” may seem to tell an interesting story, it doesn’t explore themes of genetics or cloning until its last 40 minutes, which is a huge missed opportunity. The first two thirds of this film, consequently, are rather tiresome and slow.

The film doesn’t only consist of uninteresting small talk, but the pacing proves to be inconsistent. The storytelling is too slow and character development is too fast. Characters bond without proper development and others are introduced as mere plot devices to help Brogan and his awkward love interest Danny (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who ultimately accompanies him on his journey to escape his hunter.

Additionally, the dialogue in “Gemini Man” is rather stilted and robotic. While Brogan is played by Smith, the film gives him few opportunities to display the humorous and suave demeanor he is known for. This is because the script is teeming with lame punchlines and dry jokes which expose the laziness of the film’s script.

For instance, in one scene, Brogan tells Danny, that they need to go to Hungary. When she asks “what are we seeing in Hungary,” he replies “Hungarians.” That line is an actual joke from the movie. It is a primary example of how even the best of actors cannot salvage poorly written lines.

Instead of relying on strong characters and suspenseful storytelling, this picture is much better at displaying the new technologies it is implementing. The movie is filmed and shown at 120 frames, making movements and action much more fluid on screen. Fight scenes are more realistically showcased, particularly the ones which incorporate water or other environments with various moving parts.

However, the crowning achievement of this film is its advances in age reduction technology. The movie recreates Smith’s younger face with meticulous detail. Some of the methods used include procedural generation of pores on the face and the all new advances of melatonin simulation.

Essentially, the filmmakers created a new program which allowed accurate representations of skin tone changes that take place when muscles are more aggressively flexed in certain areas of the face. While the effect isn’t perfect in all types of lighting, it marks another step in creating computer generated actors on screen. Personally, it was much more interesting to read about these technologies than to see the movie itself.

The film has done poorly at the box office. It only made $20 million in its opening weekend, and its studio is expected to face a $75 million loss from the film’s lack of revenue. Instead of watching “Gemini Man,” I would suggest reading up on the new technologies in the film and seeing some scenes from the movie when it comes out on digital.


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