REVIEW: ‘Gemini Man’ could have been worse, but it could have been better


When I sit down to watch a film, I typically have low expectations. It usually ensures that the film won’t be too bad — only kind of bad. Sometimes, if the trailer is good enough and if the concept strikes something inside me, I’ll go in with excitement. Most of the time, I’m let down. This weekend “Gemini Man” came out and I, unfortunately, went in to see it with excitement and anticipation.

And once again, I was let down.

There were parts of the film that were fantastic. Film executives funded computer-generated imagery and fight choreography well. Will Smith did a pretty good job — and, as a side note, any time he yelled, I was sufficiently frightened.

All that said, I had complaints. The concept for the story is interesting. Smith plays Henry Brogan, an elite assassin who retires after completing his 72nd job. After a series of secrets is revealed, he finds another assassin hunting him. The twist: the assassin is his clone.

The idea is great, but there were too many aspects of the film that failed. First, the use of slow motion made the action scenes awkward, and the film seem dated. It was completely unnecessary — these scenes were already relatively impressive without effects.

There were a few unnecessary clips that took up time that could have better been used to fill plot holes and expand the story. For example, there were about four scenes of a plane flying — one of which involves a zoom into the pilot’s face as he sings. This was awkward and irrelevant.

The score wasn’t great. I’m sure it would’ve sounded okay in a different genre, but a science fiction film could’ve used one that sounded more haunting. The humor was also misplaced. It wasn’t introduced until three-quarters of the way through the film, and by then it was just unnecessary.

The dialogue and cinematography were both atrocious. Writing rendered the characters static. Henry Brogan — the literal protagonist — didn’t seem to have any sort of character arch or defining characteristics other than being a good shot. His clone, on the other hand, had a minor arch, but the writers took no time to explore it in depth. It seemed to be something huge that happened overnight.

The cinematography just did not work. Most scenes were shot without reverence for the rule of thirds. The scenes that were primarily dialogue literally put the subject in the center so that it almost appeared as if they were speaking to the audience. This was probably the breaking point for me.

I had a lot of issues with the film, but it also isn’t anywhere near the worst film I’ve ever seen. There were a few aspects that tried to make up for its shortcomings, but I feel as though it wasn’t enough to balance the film. All in all, “Gemini Man” could have been worse, but it could have been better.

Julie Freijat is a sophomore in mass communications and biology. The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to

Hi there! I'm Julie Freijat. I'm the copy chief and deputy managing editor of the Collegian. In the past, I've served as an editor on the news and culture desks and worked closely with the multimedia staff. I love science and technology, hate poor movie dialogue and my favorite subreddit is r/truecrime.