Gemini Man is a 2019 sci-fi/action film produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by Ang Lee. The film stars Will Smith as Henry and Junior, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Dani Zakarweski, Clive Owen as Clayton "Clay" Varris, and Benedict Wong as Baron.
Henry Brogan, an aging government assassin seeking to exit his career, finds himself going up against a younger clone of himself named Junior, who's able to predict his every move. With no other choice, Henry must uncover the truth behind Junior's creation and save him from going down the same dark path he did, all while fighting against a corrupt system determined to "retire" him at all costs.
This is Lee's second film after Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk to be filmed in 4K 3D at 120 fps, and further pushes the technological envelope by having Junior being rendered as a fully digital character based on Will Smith's onset performance as opposed to traditional Digital Deaging.
The film was released on October 11, 2019.
Gemini Man contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Dani is a trained agent, and is shown to be more than capable of holding her own as Henry's ad hoc partner, both with guns and in unarmed combat.
- Always Someone Better: Goes both ways. Henry is completely thrown by Junior's skills and abilities (even without the handicap of not wanting to kill him), and is constantly on the defensive in their fight. At the same time, a rattled Junior tells Clay he failed to kill Henry because Henry knew every move Junior would make before he did.
- Aspect Ratio Switch: happens only once. In the first scene, the aspect ratio gets shorter for a close-up of a train speeding by
- Batman Gambit: Junior uses Dani as bait to lure Henry into a death trap.
- Because I'm Good at It: The reason that Henry's agency sent a clone instead of another hitman? Henry's the best hitman they ever had, so they needed someone to match that prowess.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Yuri notes that when the Russian government betrays and tries to kill you, it's a typical Tuesday.
- Casting Gag: The Japanese dub is one of the few dubs when both Henry and Junior are voiced by different actors, and for a good reason in this case: Both Masashi Ebara (Henry) and Kōichi Yamadera (Junior) had dubbed Smith in many of his films in Japan. This is invoked in a very funny way when one of the alternative posters used in the Japanese version replaced Smith as both characters with both Yamadera and Ebara in his place instead.
- The Centerpiece Spectacular: The catacombs fight at the end of Act 2 features Henry and Junior fighting one on one, mostly unarmed.
- Cloning Blues: Junior has a really hard time coping with the fact that he is a clone once he finds out.
- Cutting the Electronic Leash: Soon after Henry and Dani become fugitives, the latter throws her smartphone into the water.
- Deceptive Legacy: Junior was told that Clay, mentor and father figure, adopted him because his birth parents "dumped him at a fire station". Junior grew up believing he was an orphan until he finds out he's a clone.
- Digital Deaging: Smith plays Junior through special effects that make him look younger. note
- Disappeared Dad:
- Played with: Clay thought that a loving, present father figure would improve Junior over Henry. Clay insists repeatedly that he loves Junior and that he is precious. Junior doesn't buy it once he learns the truth.
- Played straight: Henry's father was abusive and then abandoned Henry at a young age.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Dani, Henry and Junior (who has taken a new name) end up as this by the end of their adventure together.
- He Knows Too Much: The DIA decides to kill Henry after he finds out that the "terrorist" he killed at the beginning of the film was actually an innocent scientist.
- I Hate Past Me: Whenever Henry looks at Junior, he sees "every trigger [he] ever pulled."
- Insult Backfire: Henry asks why Clay didn't just create a whole army of Juniors, Clay's response is a simple "Why not?".
- Ironic Echo: A mook holds Dani at gunpoint and informs her that she can either tell him where Henry is right now, or in five minutes minus her teeth. Dani beats him up, holds him at gunpoint, and informs him that he can either tell her who sent him right now, or in five minutes minus his teeth. Cut to the next scene, and she presents Henry with a handful of extracted teeth when he wonders how she knows the mook was telling the truth.
- Killing Your Alternate Self: Junior confronts his creator about the fact that said creator made a conscious choice to send Junior to kill Henry.
- Ms. Fanservice: When Junior has Dani strip down to her underwear, the viewers get more than a few shots of Winstead in just a lacy bra.
- Men Are the Expendable Gender: Henry explains he didnt have to think about making sure Dani was safe as soon as the government began targeting him and his associates. Although a bit defied when you consider he was generous enough to think about contacting Marino and making sure he got as far away as possible before someone is sent to kill him before getting to Dani. Not that it helps Marino, but points for trying.
- Menacing Hand Shot: After Junior revs up his motorcycle and then launches it at Henry to try to kill him, the camera focuses on his left hand as he pulls out a switchblade while walking toward Henry to try to finish the job.
- Not Hyperbole: At one point Dani subdues a mook and throws back at him his earlier threat that he can "talk later or talk now with all your teeth". By the time Henry catches up with her, she has the information... and a handful of the mook's teeth.
- Out-Gambitted: Junior sets up a death trap for Henry in the catacombs of Budapest. He strip searches Dani for a wire, then ties her to a post as bait. He also sets a tripwire with a grenade, disables the lights and uses night vision goggles. However, Henry comes in knowing the whole plan and busting it. It turns out Dani was wearing a special wire that slipped through Junior's search, and she was "narrating" Junior's plan by commenting on everything he does.
- Precision F-Strike: Dani definitively proves you can say "motherfucker" and still get a PG-13 rating.
- Product Placement: Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Stella Artois, among others, all with brand name in clear view.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Played with when Henry gives one to Junior regarding his character flaws, as they're all flaws he himself had to deal with.
- Retired Badass: Henry tries to become this, but his agency won't let him.
- Rhetorical Question Blunder: Henry wonders why someone with the capability to clone people doesn't clone someone like Nelson Mandela, only for Dani to reply that Nelson Mandela couldn't kill a man in a moving train from 2 kilometers away.
- Scenery Censor: When Dani is forced to get through a strip search, convenient walls and a fountain hide her from the waist down. We still get plenty of chance to look at her bra, abs and back.
- Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight:
- The movie's main conflict is between aging assassin Henry and his younger, less traumatized clone Junior.
- The final battle is between the original Henry and his first clone Junior on one side (plus Dani) and a perfected sociopathic clone assassin on the other.
- Weaponized Weakness: An instance that can also be a case of Reality Ensues, as Henry is highly allergic to bee stings, something Junior exploits in a later scene by darting him with bee stinger venom.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Clay's ultimate endgame is to create a clone army so as to reduce the human cost of war significantly.
- Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Clay tells Henry that he was the inspiration for Junior's emergence.Clay: You should be flattered.
Henry: You should be dead.