Jan 212020

Gemini Mann is an expensive gimmick movie and once you strip away the technological element, and try to ignore the distraction of the frame rate, the plot is something that could be straight out of an episode of Jack Ryan.



Gemini Man

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Thriller
Paramount | PG13 – 117 min. – $34.99 | January 14, 2020

Date Published: 01/21/2020 | Author: The Movieman

Directed by: Ang Lee
Writer(s): Darren Lemki and David Benioff (story), David Benioff and Billy Ray and Darren Lemke (screenplay)
Cast: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong

Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: 4K, Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 2

Audio: (4K) English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Audio: (BD) English (Dolby Atmos), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video (4K): 2160p/Widescreen 1.85
Video (BD): 2160p/Widescreen 1.85
Dynamic Range: HDR10, Dolby Vision
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Bahasa Malaysia, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Nederlands, Thai
Codecs: HEVC / H.265 (4K), MPEG-4 AVC (BD)
Region(s): A, B, C

Paramount provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.

Note: The screen captures were taken from the Blu-ray disc and do not represent the 4K Ultra HD transfer.

THE MOVIE — 3.25/5

Note:  I watched the 4K disc which is in the higher 60fps film rate which did factor into the overall score. The Blu-ray disc appears to show the movie in the standard 24fps…

Plot Synopsis: Henry Brogan (WILL SMITH) is an elite 51-year-old assassin who’s ready to call it quits after completing his 72nd job. His plans get turned upside down when he becomes the target of a mysterious operative who can seemingly predict his every move. To his horror, Brogan soon learns that the man who’s trying to kill him is a younger, faster, cloned version of himself (SMITH). Helping him to survive, and take down the man who created the clone, former operative Clay Verris (CLIVE OWEN), are Danny Zakarweski (MARY ELIZABETH WINSTEAD) and Baron (BENEDICT WONG).

Review: Ang Lee is a fairly prolific filmmaker with some great movies under his resume, with perhaps Hulk being the exception, though I appreciate his attempt to make a literal live action comic book film, just as a whole, didn’t work. His latest, Gemini Man, main draw I guess was using the advancements in de-aging primarily brought about to, from my memory, Ant-Man a few years back. Other than that, this is pretty much a paint-by-numbers thriller straight out of the 90s, the kind you can watch for free on Amazon Prime.

Will Smith still has the charisma to carry a film all these years later and while this is hardly his best performance, I at least can say it doesn’t look like he was mailing it in. That said, the acting as his younger self, via motion capture, didn’t quite work for me maybe because it just looked weird or that the visual effects, although certainly respectable, has the issue with other effects heavy movies (like Transformers) where the visual effects are remarkable but your eyes don’t believe it. Dunno, hard to find somebody who looks like a young Will Smith and I sure as hell wouldn’t want to watch a film with Jaden Smith either…

As far as the supporting cast are concerned, for the most part I liked them. Clive Owen gets the honor of being a cardboard cutout of a villain, sure they tried to layer him with confliction but never bought it; Mary Elizabeth Winstead does her best with a limited role, but she did share some minor chemistry opposite Smith; and last Benedict Wong is always nice to see and with an even thinner fleshed character, still had an impact in an otherwise bland role.



This release comes with a glossy slip cover and inside is the redemption code for the Digital HD copy.

Disc 1 (4K UHD):
VFX Scene Breakdown (3:02) — No commentary or interview inserts, just a compilation of how certain effects shots were done from motion capture, head replacements, etc. Kind of interesting but if you don’t have a 4K player, you’re not missing much. Also shown at 60fps.

Disc 2 (Blu-ray):
Alternate Opening (5:49) — Just a somewhat different title scene that makes it look even more like a cheap direct-to-video film with the font for the cast/crew names (though perhaps they were hastily put in for this; plus some of the effects were unfinished). There are also some extra shots with his younger counterpart not in the original version.

Deleted Scenes (4:48) — Only two scenes here, one is unnecessary the other is an alternate scene that later was re-written, re-cast and re-shot later.

The Genesis of Gemini Man (2:54) — Short featurette that looks at the origins of the project, which began decades ago. Also has some production photos, but a little too brief to be of any value.

Facing Your Younger Self (5:40) — This of course focuses on the gimmick of a hero going up against his younger version.

The Future is Now (18:32) focuses on the visual effects and advancement of the technology.

Setting the Action (15:46) gives us a look at Ang Lee filming the key action sequences.

Next Level Detail (3:45) focuses on the production design on the catacombs.

The Vision of Ang Lee (6:04) — This featurette is on what Lee wanted to accomplish with this project, including filming at a higher film rate (120fps apparently at select 3D showings).


4K VIDEO – 5.0/5, BD VIDEO – 5.0/5

Gemini Man comes to 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and 2160p and 1080p high-definition transfers, respectively. Now, not only is there a difference in the resolution, but the movie on the 4K disc is shown at 60fps versus the normal 24fps. Admittedly it was a little distracting while watching the movie because while the detail was incredibly sharp and has vivid colors, the motion had the look of character and camera movements being sped up and does give the film a little cheap appearance, almost like watching a soap opera or something. Not entirely sure why Ang Lee went this route, although I will say it’s more apparent during the daylight scenes rather than those with a darker setting.

I did sample the Blu-ray and the motion still looks a bit wonky but not as much by comparison. But like the 4K, detail, albeit not as well defined, still looked really good as did the colors with the picture itself appearing clean of any apparent flaws.

4K/BD AUDIO – 4.75/5

Both 4K UHD and Blu-ray discs come accompanied with Dolby Atmos tracks which does sound excellent. Dialogue comes through with fine clarity mainly via the center channel but there are some sequences where the fronts and rears show off ambient noises including off-screen chatter and the depth itself is impressive. The only thing keeping this from a perfect rating is that compared to other Atmos tracks on recent films, it’s not quite up to snuff.


OVERALL – 3.75/5

Gemini Mann is an expensive gimmick movie and once you strip away the technological element, and try to ignore the distraction of the frame rate, the plot is something that could be straight out of an episode of Jack Ryan, that’s a jab at the show but it is pretty basic, however I won’t say this was bad, but understandable why it failed at the box office. Still, maybe this worth a rental as Will Smith was still charismatic in the lead, as was Winstead in her thinly fleshed out part.

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