Review: GEMINI MAN in 120fps Is a Unique, Fun, and Weird Cinematic Experience

Director Ang Lee was looking to push the boundaries of filmmaking technology with his new action-packed thriller Gemini Man. I was extremely curious to see how this film was going to turn out, and it certainly ended up being a unique cinematic experience.

Will Smith plays Henry Brogan, an elite assassin, who is suddenly targeted and pursued by a mysterious young operative who seemingly can predict his every move. That operative is a younger clone of Brogan. As the story plays out the older, more seasoned version of the character makes an attempt to help the young clone of himself.

The movie was screened in 3D in 120fps, and it looked unlike any film that I’ve ever seen on the big screen. It was pretty jarring at first, but I actually got used to it about 10-15 minutes into the movie. I was thinking about how cool it looked, and the action sequences were super smooth and fluid, there was none of that motion blur.

The one thing that didn’t work with all of this was the CGI tech used to bring a young version of Will Smith to life. Every time that digital Will Smith was on screen I was pulled out of the movie. It was way too distracting. I applaud the effort that they put into it, but the character still looked like a CG Will Smith. It just didn’t look believable, especially at 120fps with everything being super crisp and clear.

Even the fight sequences between old Will Smith and young Will Smith looked too CG for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments in the film that I enjoyed, and I had fun watching the movie, but the filmmaking and digital technology just isn’t there yet with what Lee was trying to pull off. It might have worked better had they de-aged Will Smith the way that Marvel has done it in their films.

I’ve enjoyed the film that Lee has made in his career and he really wanted to pull off something super ambitious. While he and his creative team made every effort to pull it off, and I can see the impressive efforts of their work, the CG tech just isn’t there yet to perfectly digitally recreate an actor.

Regardless of the CG Will Smith distraction, Lee told an entertaining story with some interesting characters. Some of those other characters were wonderfully played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Benedict Wong, and Clive Owen. The most impressive aspects of the film for me were the awesome kickass action sequences, and Smith ended up giving a great performance.

Who knows, the movie might actually look better if you see it in a regular theater instead of in 120fps, but if you’re curious to see what that looks like, then, by all means, see it in 120fps!

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