Gemini Man (2019)
★★★ / ★★★★
72 kills and Defense Intelligence Agency assassin Henry Bogan (Will Smith) wishes to retire in peace, but his final job involving the killing of a molecular biologist leads the preternaturally gifted sniper to the learn the truth about Project Gemini, a cloning program designed to create super soldiers. Beautifully photographed and with energy to spare, Ang Lee’s “Gemini Man” manages to stand out from other action pictures because it actually invites the viewers to appreciate the background as well as the foreground of a scene. Notice its willingness to set the highly choreographed violence, CGI and all, against bright colors and warm, open vistas. The work looks and feels international, not shackled to suboptimal Hollywood standards. And while I appreciated that the script is not above embracing a few comic exchanges between Bogan and his friends (Benedict Wong, Douglas Hodge), an agent tasked to surveil him (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), or his younger clone (also Smith), the dialogue is not ironed out well enough as to not come across as too cheesy at times. Topics regarding identity, individuality, and nature versus nurture are touched but never explored in mature and meaningful ways. The movie may not be about the plot, but connections among the characters provide substance. Yet despite these shortcomings, there is good entertainment to be had here in terms of visuals. The chase in the streets of Colombia is a highlight.