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Film / Gemini Man

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"I think I know why hes as good as you. He is you."
"Of all the people in the world to come after me, why would he send you?"
Henry Brogan

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.

It is not related in any way to the short-lived television series.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2.

Gemini Man contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Clay raised Junior and acted like his adopted father. However, he lied to him about his origins, and manipulated Junior to turn into a killer later. Junior is distraught at finding this out.
  • 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: It 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: It happens only once. In the first scene, the aspect ratio gets shorter for a close-up of a train speeding by.
  • Bait-and-Switch: On finding a Tracking Device in his boat, Henry confronts Dani, who's a recent employee at the boat harbor. He seems to be being paranoid and offers to make it up to her by buying her a drink, only to confront her later with her DIA file.
  • 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.
  • Car Fu: Happens during the first Henry/Junior Chase Scene on motorcycles. It ends with both of them running out of ammunition or weapons, so Junior tries to kill Henry using his motorcycle.
  • 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.
  • Clones Are People, Too: Junior would rather not be used as an expendable Redshirt Army. Henry is also horrified at Clay's plan to replace all US soldiers with clones to be expendable cannon fodder.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Henry has an alarm system covering not the house but the surrounding grounds. When it goes off in the middle of the night, he lifts a hatch in the floor right next to his bed and jumps into a cellar where he has a bug-out bag waiting.
  • Cutting the Electronic Leash: Soon after Henry and Dani become fugitives, the latter throws her smartphone into the water.
  • Danger Room Cold Open: Used for foreshadowing, introducing the Elite Mooks and battleground used in the final act.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Unmask: When the gas mask is removed from the Super-Soldier who attacks them, it turns out to be an even younger version of Junior.
  • Expendable Clone: Despite pretending otherwise to Junior, Clay clearly views him along with clones in general as just being tools used instead of regular people who needn't be cared about. He even wants to replace all US soldiers with clones modified so as not to feel fear or pain, because no one need care about them.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Dani, Henry and Junior (who has taken a new name) end up as this by the end of their adventure together.
  • Gatling Good: There's a Dillon gun mounted on the armored personnel carrier in the final battle. A more realistic version with the laser-beam like tracers and the aversion of Bottomless Magazines—meaning that once it shoots up the building they're hiding in, it plays no further part in the battle.
  • 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.
  • Has a Type: Henry admits that at Junior's age, Dani would definitely have been his type, so that's why he uses her for The Bait.
  • Hollywood Darkness: Dark scenes were shot in brightly-lit places and edited to make it look like nighttime. The cameras needed bright lights because it filmed at 120fps, reducing the shutter speed to 1/120. Impressively, a flashlight casts a proper beam on Junior in the catacombs scene.
  • I Hate Past Me: Whenever Henry looks at Junior, he sees "every trigger [he] ever pulled."
  • Immune to Bullets: The GEMINI Elite Mooks wear heavy body armor, though Henry and Dani are able to take them out fairly swiftly; Henry states that he and Dani should aim at the gaps in the armor such as the joints, neck, and visor, but at some points he just shoots through said armor such as when he scores two headshots with his last bullet. Played more straight with the Super-Soldier at the end, who shrugs off multiple assault rifle shots to the head, chest, and limbs without any detrimental effect, due to a combination of advanced body armor and not feeling pain.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Shown in the Batman Cold Open when Henry shoots a man in a high speed train, moving horizontal to his line of fire, from two kilometers away.
  • 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.
    • Henry says that Junior was like a ghost (meaning a ghost from his past) during his After Action Patch Up, then we cut to Junior getting his own After Action Patch Up from Clay and he says Henry was like a ghost (referring to how Junior couldn't kill him because Henry kept anticipating his moves).
  • Kick the Dog: The DIA sanctions a hit not only only on Jack and Henry who are asking dangerous questions, but Jack's mistress, Henry's former spotter, and Dani are also targeted as potential loose ends.
  • Killing Your Alternate Self: Junior confronts his creator about the fact that said creator made a conscious choice to send Junior to kill Henry, who he is a clone of.
  • Kill Me Now, or Forever Stay Your Hand: Varris to Junior, knowing that he will be reluctant to kill his surrogate father.
  • Lost in Transmission: Henry calls his former spotter Marino to warn him to start running, only for him to be Killed Mid-Sentence just when he's saying that Henry's fears are exaggerated.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The DIA Redshirt Army that attempt to kill Henry, and the Gemini soldiers that we see training who turn up in the final act along with the Super-Soldier version of Junior, covered head-to-toe in flexible body armor and gas mask/Night-Vision Goggles.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Name: GEMINI, as in the Gemini Twins.
  • 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 Sinister Switchblade while walking toward Henry to try to finish the job. We get a similar shot in the catacombs fight, this time with Henry holding the switchblade.
  • 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.
  • One Bullet Left: And used to kill two mooks at once. Fortunately Junior enters and kills the rest.
  • 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.
  • Parental Substitute: Invoked by Clay, who raised Henry's clone as his adopted 'orphan' son Clay Junior.
  • 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. Not because You Can Never Leave, but because You Know Too Much.
  • 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.
  • Rogue Agent: In all its incarnations—GEMINI are Private Military Contractors who run off the books operations for the DIA including the cloning project, and Henry is cited as a rogue operative to justify killing him, so he won't expose the real rogue operation.
  • 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.
  • Sword over Head: Subverted; Henry and Junior know that Varris will go on to create a Clone Army if left alive, but Henry stops Junior from killing his Parental Substitute, knowing the act will scar him for life. Henry takes the shotgun off Junior, and Varris smiles in triumph...only to be shot dead by Henry.
  • Tracking Chip: Henry wonders how Junior keeps knowing where to find him. Turns out a subdermal tracking chip was implanted on him during after-action surgery a few years back.
  • Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Junior gets shot in the shoulder in Hungary, Henry & Co hop on a jet back to the United States, yet Junior somehow has time to return to the US and confront Varris, then be waiting uninjured on the ground when the jet arrives in the United States.
  • Unexpected Virgin: Dani's first assumption is that Junior is a long-lost son of Henry, an idea that Henry curtly rejects. At first it seems that this is because he's Married to the Job and so has avoided long-term relationships, but Henry later guesses that Junior is a virgin, despite being in his twenties, because he considers himself a freak and is worried that others will see it, implying that Henry has avoided relationships too for this reason.
  • 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.
  • The Villain Knows Where You Live: Henry uses this to frighten Janet Lassiter into making a deal.
  • Weaponized Weakness: An instance that can also be a case of Weaksauce Weakness, as Henry is highly allergic to bee stings, something Junior exploits in a later scene by darting him with bee stinger venom. Fortunately he only wants to prove beyond doubt that he really is Henry's clone.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Clay's ultimate endgame is to create a clone army so as to reduce the human cost of war significantly.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Even before we really get to know him, Varris is shown expressing this attitude towards Henry, raising the question over just how genuine his feelings towards Junior ever were.
  • Who Are You?: Henry's inevitable question when he finds himself facing an assassin who looks like himself at a younger age.
  • 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.
  • You Talk Too Much!: Junior to Dani while holding her hostage as The Bait. He eventually has her Bound and Gagged. Turns out Dani is wearing a Hidden Wire and was relaying information to Henry.

"He has to die. Hes your darkness you had to walk through on your own."