Gemini Man Is Splendidly Bizarre

As they get older and see the long arcs of their careers stretching out behind them, great directors often make movies about obsolescence, expressing their fears of getting left behind in a changing world. Martin Scorsese just made one; so did Tim Burton and Clint Eastwood, and now it’s the two-time Oscar-winner Ang Lee’s turn. His latest Hollywood foray is Gemini Man, a splendidly bizarre piece of action filmmaking that encourages coming to terms with one’s age, even as its advanced high-frame-rate technology makes it look like a surreal vision of an eerily crisp future. Lee is innovating and looking backward at the same time, and the viewing experience is as bewildering as that sounds.

The script for Gemini Man, which has bounced around Hollywood since the late ’90s, has a fairly elemental concept: What if a hit man had to go up against a cloned younger version of himself? Credited to David Benioff, Billy Ray, and Darren Lemke, the screenplay is a rudimentary distillation of that idea, with dialogue that could best be described as “workmanlike,” and plotting that is mostly beside the point. The hero is Henry Brogan (played by Will Smith), a 51-year-old government assassin who decides to retire when he feels his skills slipping. He stumbles into a conspiracy and finds himself in the crosshairs of Clay Verris (Clive Owen), whom he must battle with the help of a couple of sidekicks (Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Benedict Wong). But the real star is Junior, a crack military operative in his early 20s also played, with the assistance of advanced CGI, by Smith. He’s a clone of Henry that Clay has created to be the ultimate dealer of death.

The film just about pulls off the magic trick of Junior, who—save for a bit of rubbery computerized sheen—basically looks like Smith as he might have appeared in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. On top of that, though, Lee has shot Gemini Man in 120 frames per second, using advanced cameras to capture images at frequencies five times faster than the typical 24 frames per second that most cinema is photographed in. Lee’s last film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, harnessed the intense smoothness provided by this high frame rate to suggest the eerie sense of hyper-reality experienced by its title character, an Iraq War veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress. In Gemini

Source:: <a href=https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/10/gemini-man-review/599614/?utm_source=feed target="_blank" title="Gemini Man Is Splendidly Bizarre” >The Atlantic – Culture

      

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