Two Will Smiths are not better than one: Rashid Irani reviews Gemini Man
Whether it’s the late Carrie Fischer’s cameo appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) or Robert DeNiro in Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming The Irishman, digital de-ageing of actors is the gimmicky new trend in Hollywood.
Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (Life of Pi) and the visual effects team at New Zealand’s Weta Digital have used the process to create a seamlessly digitised human (in this case Will Smith at age 23) from scratch.
Unfortunately the outcome of the jiggery-pokery is unconvincing, with Will Smith coming across as lifeless in the avatar of the replica assassin.
Watch the trailer here
Worse, the two-decades-plus gestation period (during that time Clint Eastwood and Harrison Ford were among those who evinced interest in the project but eventually backed out) accentuates the hackneyed nature of the script.
An elite marksman (Smith), with 72 kills to his credit, decides to call it a day. So far, so formulaic. Enter the clone (guess who?) tasked with assassinating the assassin.
The narrative whisks across several exotic locations ranging from Belgium to Colombia and Budapest, before culminating in a pyromaniacal resolution.
If Gemini Man is any indication about the future course of cinema, it’s perhaps time for the medium to revert to its infancy and tell anew simple, emotionally relatable stories without all the attendant brouhaha.