Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.
Director: Ang Lee, Paramount Pictures, M 117 Minutes.
The latest release from two-time Oscar winning director Ang Lee (‘Brokeback Mountain’ and ‘Life of PI’) is a thrilling action adventure featuring Will Smith as a recently retired assassin coming face to face with another assassin – a younger Will Smith.
Having eliminated a terrorist target travelling on a fast-moving train that completes his latest government assignment the highly-accomplished hitman Harry Brogan (Will Smith – ‘Aladdin’) decides to retire returning to the dock where he rents out a boat to go fishing.
Instead of the usual attendant Harry is greeted by Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead – ‘The Hollars’) his replacement, believed to be a special plant placed in the position to spy on him by intelligence chief Clay Verris (Clive Owen – ‘The Confirmation’).
Danny’s admission to being a government agent and then siding with Harry now makes them instant targets placing both their lives in danger and made worse by Verris activating the Gemini program which generates a younger version of Brogan.
It is all part of Verris’ vile plan to have cloned the 51-year-old Brogan into an elite assassin whom he calls Junior and rearing him as his son to use him to remove his older self.
Wasting little time Verris instructs Junior to hunt down Brogan just as he and Danny find refuge in the home of close friend Baron (Benedict Wong – ‘Dr Strange’), prior to flying both of them to Budapest in his plane.
As is often the case plans can go astray especially when the hunter (Smith) eventually meets the hunted (Smith) and the expected confrontation between Brogan and his younger self sees the tables turned against Verris in a deadly defeat.
Ang lee’s latest production is an entertaining thriller filled with many exciting action scenes and some visually-pleasing settings shot in Columbia, Hungary and the USA by Aussie cinematographer Dion Beebe.
Besides being used by Martin Scorsese in his latest film ‘The Irishman’ to make Robert De Niro look younger, Lee’s adaptation of de-aging technology to create two Will Smiths only contributes to the enjoyment of his storyline.
And of course, one cannot overlook the pleasing performance of Smith in portraying both characters nor that of the co-stars Owen as the villain Verris and Smith’s sidekick Winstead.
Vic’s Verdict: 4 Stars
Gemini Man is to be televised on Channel 9 at 8.30pm on Friday 30 July.