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Gemini Man
Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winsted, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong
Directed By: Ang Lee
Running Time: 117 Minutes
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: October 11, 2019

When Henry Brogan decides to retire, things go wrong very fast. Someone is after him. He has had a lifelong career as an assassin. He’s considered the best. There’s regret at his retirement, but is that a reason to try to kill him? 

He meets a sweet and innocent girl whom he quickly recognizes is an agent sent to spy on him. This is Mary Elizabeth Winsted. I really liked her. For once we have a real person, not just an action hero.  She’s intelligent, thoughtful and highly competent and she and Will Smith are soon having to work together.

The threats and the plots increase. It’s no spoiler to say that the assassin sent after him is a clone, created years ago. This, of course, was the selling point for the movie. I can see it as an elevator pitch “Let’s have Will Smith play himself and his much younger clone!”  All the publicity has focused on this.

The problem is that it dominates how you see the movie. I noticed some reviewers focused a magnifying glass on whether the de-aging process was totally successful.  That kind of critical focus destroys any pleasure the movie gives.

I read a review that pointed out that it would have been easier and much cheaper to simply cast someone who resembles Will Smith when he was much younger. That would eliminate the problems, but of course it eliminates the selling point of Will Smith in a double role. 

Without that, the movie probably wouldn’t have been made which would be a shame. It’s a perfectly fine action thriller.  You like the characters and the basic story. It’s not a great movie but it’s a good, entertaining one that simply tried too hard to be clever.

Reviewed by Marian Powell

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