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Non-Review Review: Gemini Man

Gemini Man is a weird and unashamed nineties action movie throwback, for both better and worse.

This is baked into the film. The poster capitalises on the star power that drives the film. Alluding to the clone drama that drives so much of the plot, the poster to Gemini Man credits lead actor Will Smith twice above the line. In an era where the very concept of the movie star is trapped in a seemingly terminal decline, Gemini Man literally doubles down on its star branding. More than that, there is something surreal in the choice of Will Smith as that leading man, an actor whose career is largely defined by nineties hits like Enemy of the State, Men in Black or Bad Boys and whose career has floundered in recent years.

Face to Face/Off.

Gemini Man leans into this nostalgia. The film’s central hook lies in confronting Will Smith with a younger version of himself. Will Smith plays retiring assassin Henry Brogen, who finds himself hunted by a much younger version of himself. De-aged into the uncanny valley, the younger version of Will Smith consciously evokes the actor’s golden age. The film is set in 2019, but the computer-augmented action star feels lost in time; even his hairstyle and facial hair recall the actor’s appearance in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air rather than anything that might suggest a young man growing up in the twenty-first century.

While there’s a lot to unpack in the film, there’s also something disappointingly lifeless about Gemini Man. One of the film’s big action beats take place in a creepy catacomb, in what feels like an encapsulation of the film. Gemini Man never seems truly alive, instead feeling like a facsimile of another, older style of blockbuster.

Out of scope.

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Non-Review Review: Mission Impossible II

The single best description of this movie I have ever read was that it was “a two-hour long shaving commercial.”

I hope that thing has Cruise control...

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Non-Review Review: Face/Off

My uncle and I were looking for something good to watch on Tuesday and unfortunately Sky doesn’t offer Sky Premiere HD +1, so we arrived halfway through Sweeney Todd. Feeling somewhat cultured for sitting through five minutes of musical (it is a fantastic film), we decided to indulge our… baser instincts. Digging through a pile of Blu Ray discs we’d found in some godforsaken bargain basement somewhere, we began to despair. Until we found it – the golden poster boy of mindless, insane, frentic and fun action movies of the 1990’s. Yes, we stuck on Face/Off.

Travolta took the news of Nicholas Cage's Ocar win worse than most...

Travolta took the news of Nicholas Cage's Ocar win worse than most...

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