I remember seeing the promotions for Gemini Man when it was first coming out. It definitely looked like a pretty interesting story with the main character having to go up against himself. You can’t really go wrong there right? Well, the movie delivers and while their confrontation may end up being a rather small part of the movie, it’s still a fun concept. The film delivers on having a good amount of action scenes and so in the end I was satisfied here. I’d be up for a sequel.
The movie starts with Henry taking someone out as per his job as an assassin but his shot is a little off the mark. He doesn’t shoot someone else by mistake or anything but he figures that it’s a sign he needs to retire. In this business you have to be 100% accurate after all and he’s done well for the government so they should let him go right? Well, not this time. He’s seen as a liability now who may know too much and so a bunch of assassins are sent after him. Henry takes most of them down no problem, but one of them looks just like him. Now Henry’s conflicted about just bumping this guy off and wants to learn more. Accompanied by agent Danny and his old friend Baron, Henry will have to travel the globe now.
I always like it when a movie picks up right away and that happens here. The assassins attack very early on in the movie. We get to see why Henry is known as the best because taking these guys out isn’t really a problem for him. The only reason he struggles at all in the movie is really because of the dilemma of having to beat his younger self. Otherwise it’s shown time and time again that nobody is going to beat Henry in a straight fight. The guy’s just too good at what he does.
So the fight scenes are interesting with how he’s fighting defensively and still having the upper hand. I thought he did a good job with the smoke bombs and in general did handle himself like a pro. Henry’s also just a likable character. He’s trying not to sink further into the darkness especially now that he knows the government may have had him bumping off some innocent people. His days of being an assassin are long gone but of course he still will take out almost anyone else who comes after him.
The villains need better armor though. I can’t tell you how many of these guys were wearing armored helmets and the shot ended up piercing right through them anyway. That’s definitely not a good look for those guys. There was only one exception to this for the final boss who actually had real solid armor. That was a great 2 v 1 fight too. The film pulled out all the stops here and this could have passed for a comic book fight with how fast everyone was moving. Now this opponent wasn’t exactly normal so I can’t praise the armor for everything but it stood up to a whole lot of punishment which is what a good armor should do. Especially since it’s from the government here.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the government was holding back to save on expenses with how corrupt they appeared to be here though. This was definitely not one of the more heroic versions. You had a few of them make a bunch of excuses throughout the whole film on how this was not their fault and how they couldn’t actually do anything about all of this but it just felt like excuses all the way through. At least the main villain Clay was straight forward about being a villain. He just wants to make as many clones as possible and he figures that will reduce the amount of lives that have to be lost in every war.
The whole premise revolves around the idea that these clones aren’t real people though which is problematic at best. Personally once a clone has been created I would say it’s a real person particularly since they can feel emotions and everything. You’d have to create a clone with no emotions or traces of a soul to even start to convince me otherwise and that would be a tough one. It’s an interesting motivation though and I did think Clay was a good villain.
As for the heroine Danny, she’s solid as well. She helps out a lot during the fights and never holds the main character back. I’m always glad when the characters are all doing their part as needed and Danny really proved herself by jumping in during the climax and getting some shots across. Her conversation with Junior was also good and so she showed why she is a full fledged agent.
Then you have Baron who is here as the comic relief sidekick to an extent. I mean, he’s not really a sidekick as he’s got his own thing going on. I guess it’s better to say that he’s a friend who shows up with his helicopter to help out but he doesn’t get to do a whole lot here. You never feel like he has the same expertise as the other characters. Props for coming in to help but that’s about it for him.
As for Junior, he makes for a solid villain here. Naturally he’s really kept out of the loop here on who the heroes and villains are so that makes the deck stacked against him right from the start but as the film goes on he gradually gets to learn more and more about what he should be doing. Junior doesn’t always make the right moves here but ultimately he’s a good kid that grew up in the wrong setting. Once he’s able to get past that then he’s all set for future adventures.
The ending to the movie is satisfying and so you’ve got a solid action movie right here. There aren’t any real memorable tunes here but the special effects are good and the battles are on point. The pacing is good and the writing is solid so this really does nail down the fundamentals. Surprisingly there is no stinger for a sequel or anything like that so this really seems to be a completely stand alone title.
Overall, Gemini Man is a pretty good movie and I’d definitely recommend it. At most I think the only negative you may have here is that the actual fight between the two main characters stops being the focus early on. We only get to see them have an all out fight where both are trying their best once and it’s clear that Henry could have won that match in an instant. Once he chooses not to go for the win, that’s when you realize that we aren’t going to get those big battles at least with these two. There is still a solid fight underground but Henry is never really trying to win. Still, we do get a lot of battles either way so it’s not something that would really hurt for the film for me.