Review: “Gemini Man” falls flat of expectations

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Review: “Gemini Man” falls flat of expectations

Since Gemini Man's official release on Oct. 11, 2019, the film has only brought in $120 million worldwide, despite a production budget of $138 million. This flop at the box office is estimated to cost Skydance Media about a $75 million loss, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Since Gemini Man's official release on Oct. 11, 2019, the film has only brought in $120 million worldwide, despite a production budget of $138 million. This flop at the box office is estimated to cost Skydance Media about a $75 million loss, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Chloe Baker

Since Gemini Man's official release on Oct. 11, 2019, the film has only brought in $120 million worldwide, despite a production budget of $138 million. This flop at the box office is estimated to cost Skydance Media about a $75 million loss, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Chloe Baker

Chloe Baker

Since Gemini Man's official release on Oct. 11, 2019, the film has only brought in $120 million worldwide, despite a production budget of $138 million. This flop at the box office is estimated to cost Skydance Media about a $75 million loss, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Makayla Archambeault, Assistant Web Editor

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When Gemini Man’s first trailer debuted on April 23, 2019, the film appeared to have all of the right components to dominate the box office: a gripping concept, an Oscar-winning director and Will Smith in the starring role.

However, due to competition with films like Joker and The Addams Family on its opening weekend, the film ultimately bombed, making only $36 million in North America and less than $120 million worldwide in the two weeks since its release, costing Skydance Media an approximate $75 million loss.

That being said, the competition was certainly not the only reason Gemini Man flopped. The movie was widely panned by critics, receiving only a 25 percent rating from Rotten Tomatoes.

Admittedly, the low score was justified—the movie did not live up to the high expectations set by director Ang Lee.

Gemini Man, on its face, has a highly enticing storyline. A skilled government assassin named Henry Brogan (Smith) being hunted by a clone of himself named Junior, made by a top-secret government project called Gemini. The rich plot synopsis sets the stage for an intense, action-filled movie. Gemini Man, however, majorly fell short of its initially engaging concept. Overall, the film was poorly developed and had an incredibly predictable storyline, mundane characters and subpar visual effects.

Due to the film’s incredible concept, audiences surely went into Gemini Man expecting edge-of-your-seat action. What they received, however, was a movie where every event and plot twist was entirely expected—resulting in a movie that could be better enjoyed by reading its summary online. Lee’s concept certainly had the potential to captivate audiences for the film’s nearly two-hour runtime—but he instead made the decision to follow an overused storyline that has worn thin on audiences.

Gemini Man‘s storyline was driven mostly by its dull characters, which, for the most part, were typical, run-of-the-mill stock characters to be expected in a movie of its stature: Brogan as the hero figure with parental issues and a problem with his job, Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) as the unintended love interest, Clay Verris (Clive Owen) as the “big bad” and, of course, Baron (Benedict Wong) as the hero’s friend who conveniently has everything needed to evade capture. The shallow characters were not given much of a chance to develop, resulting in an incredibly static film.

For a movie with a $138 million production cost and an action thriller plotline, Gemini Man‘s visual effects did not deliver in a realistic or even believable way. Though the action sequences were interesting, many of the shots were clearly edited and some were, noticeably, physically impossible. This aspect of the movie put a damper on the entire film, as the majority of it was action-based.

In most action films, the intense scenes drive the plot and can lead to character development, which might have been achieved in Gemini Man if audiences weren’t so distracted by the cheap-looking special effects. The de-aging of Smith was clearly where most of the production budget went, which resulted in a win for those who saw the film to see Will Smith, but simultaneously turned a blind eye to those interested in a well-developed action movie.

Gemini Man was clearly made to be a movie that served no other purpose than to entertain audiences for a little under two hours with a literal battle of Wills. Due to the tunnel-vision focus that Lee and Skydance placed on making Junior look like Will Smith as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Gemini Man was doomed from the start. However, if what a viewer is looking for is to be mindlessly entertained by impossible action sequences and a mediocre attempt at comedy, tickets can be purchased here.