When you first hear the names Will Smith and Ang Lee, you think of some interesting things. Smith is a better actor than given credit and Lee is a very gifted director of emotion, which he has often not had to show in Hollywood. So I entered GEMINI MAN thinking a mixture of things. Will Smith has been the go to action actor for some time. He once lead the box office but then went back to where he began with films about performance and people. Lee is almost the same, except he floats between blockbuster and personal film. Often confusing the viewer who knew his Taiwanese masterpieces and those who know his Action set pieces. The trailer offered me action and a science fiction story of the self. But the lead and his director offered me something else. Will this be a tale of angst, age and seperation? Well yes it will. Will this be an action smash? Yes it will also be. Will it work in a coherent narrative and be executed with skill and subtlety? Almost.

Henry Brogan (Will Smith) has retired from killing people for the government. He was the best of the best. He can kill without a trace. Quick and clean. Fast and hard. Simply the best of the best. Now he wants to fish. Chill back on his boat and cast his line into the sea. Let the fish come to him. Then something happens. After he meets his best buddy and former hitman costar, Jack Wills (Douglas Hodge) and finds out later he is murdered, he panics. His friends then start to be killed one by one and he escapes barely with his life. While on the run, he is attacked by another hitman with skills like his. Fast and furious. Guns, bikes, running and explosives are thrown at him. When he faces the assailant, he is astonished. For he is looking at his own face, though now 30 years in the past. The assailant looks like him, acts like him and speaks like him. For it is him and the Gemini project will open up the nightmare he is facing…

What you get in GEMINI MAN is a range of ideas, covered with a series of action sequences. Not a bad thing at all. Where it fails down is that obsession of talking about ‘de aging’. I dont want to bother with all that. If you are interested a key feature on the Blu ray, covers it in extensive (and dull) detail. I want to talk Sci Fi. For this film is the nexus of the film. Merging ideas from the best writers (the self and technology, genetics, time travel and of course, the power of science to harm.) GEMINI MAN does all of this with vared levels of quality. However it gets bogged down in being a product film. ‘De aging’ never escapes it. Everything is built around it. Human detail is lost and so is the connection to care. Lee puts together a superb looking film. Which is heightened by the Blu Ray transfer. Which is never anything less then stunning. However the film falls down on its arse because it just will not make a case for us to care for Brogan. Hes a hitman that is being hunted in ever more ludicrus ways. Thats its failure. Sadly.

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