Well after scoring my first perfect cinema in Fantasy Movie League last week, I tanked this week mostly because of this movie. I had more faith in Will Smith’s ability to open a film (and I did not want to support the lazy film making of Addams Family). Sure, Gemini Man was getting panned, but surely people would be interested in seeing it for the technology. I was. And that’s really the only reason to wanna see this. Director Ang Lee has proven himself to be good at managing new technology.
Will Smith is a top spy assassin dude. So what happens when he does something that upsets his superiors and they wanna take him out? They hire the only person capable, this younger clone that he didn’t know about. The plot is pretty bland. If you want a better story about an assassin trying to kill his self, watch Looper. Gemini Man played out how you would expect, with some cheesy father figure type of thing going on with Will trying to mentor young will. If this was all the movie had to offer, I’d tell you to skip it (and I would not have pulled it into my FML lineup). But as I stated previously, you see this movie for the technology.
I’ll preface by saying that no theater in the US is capable of showing this film as intended. I went to one of the 14 in the country that almost can. I was at a High Frame Rate, 3D, Dolby screening. It looked so gorgeous.
3D doesn’t normally do much for me. In fact, it’s more likely to give me a headache than add something positive to my experience, so I try to avoid it as much as possible. This 3D undeniable. I’m sure the HFR had a lot to do with it (more on that in a bit) but there was very well defined depth in every shot. There were also some effects that leapt out of the screen, which has always been my fave part of 3D and one that’s usually something you see at Disneyland attractions and not in theaters. Keeping in mind this is primarily an action movie, anytime there was a big explosion or a particularly messy death, you’d see every angle of it, falling into the screen and bursting out of it. It was so freaking cool!
Now, the high frame rate. I’d previously only seen it with one of The Hobbit movies and I found it kinda weird. This time, I found it more distracting than weird. I’m simply not used to it. I remember the first time my Daddy and I watched 24 on Blu Ray on an HD tv it felt strange, but now I’m so used to HD that I barely notice anything. I feel like HFR could go in that direction one day. But for now, it was a (mostly welcome) distraction. The first few minutes it feels like it has to be fake. Then you start thinking that no one needs to be able to count the pores on Will’s face. But then as you settle in, and you see the HFR play nice with the 3D, it makes it worth it to experience.
There’s still one more piece of technology, and the one that’s (incorrectly) getting more of the attention. Young Will Smith. De-aging seems to be all the rage these days, but this dude is pure CGI. So think Gollum not Nick Fury. I’m still not clear if any Mo-Cap was involved, but essentially he was created from the ground up. He mostly looks great, and you’d think he was a person who was really there. But every so often, he looks a little too rubbery or something just feels off. I blame the HFR though because it’s impossible to hide any imperfections with that crystal clear lens on you. I kinda feel like it was a mistake to combine these two things when they’re both still kinda experimental. Then again, maybe on one of the screens that’s fully equipped to show the film as it was meant to be seen can handle it better.
I guess this is all to say if you live near one of those 14 theaters, it’s worth checking out (esp since they’re all AMC so your A-List should cover the ridiculously expensive ticket). But if you’d be seeing this on a regular screen without the bells and whistles, it’s prolly not worth your time.
Gemini Man – \m/ \m/ \m/