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Gemini Man Reviews Don’t look Good For The Will Smith Starrer

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BY March 18, 2021

Will Smith stars in the latest Ang Lee directorial venture. However, Gemini Man reviews don’t look too favorable in the movie’s first weekend. While this could be an indication of a bad movie, as is the norm, there could be other factors at play. 

Gemini Man Sees Double the Will Smith

The critically acclaimed director Ang Lee returns to directing with his newest sci-fi action film, Gemini Man. The movie’s story seems like the usual action movie. An assassin wanting to retire is seemingly hunted by another right after his last job. It’s the usual cat and mouse action thriller. The catch? The assassin hunting him is his own younger version. 

Reviews Applaud CGI, but Also Blame It

Will Smith pulls double duty as the veteran assassin and his own younger self. Through the brand new style of motion-capture, Smith isn’t de-aged for the role. But rather, has a CGI skin over his own motion capture performance. 

Will Smith in Gemini Man. Image via Paramount Pictures

Gemini Man has a new application of motion capture technology. Instead of being de-aged, similar to Downey Jr. in the MCU, or the actors in Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, this was different. However, it seems that many the Gemini Man reviews have written it off as a failed tech experiment. 

Theatrical Limitations Prevent Gemini Man Experience as Desired by Ang Lee

Another technical aspect of Gemini Man is that Lee shot the film in 120 frames per second. It’s a style of filmmaking that allows for more pictures in a frame, resulting in hyper-real picture quality. The effect is very much similar to ‘motion smoothing’ on televisions. A feature that most filmmakers vehemently recommend not to do. 

Yet Ang Lee’s decision to shoot Gemini Man in this format has been hotly contested. Some critics even walked out of their critic’s screening due to their dislike of how the film looked. As the film has widely released, the technical aspects seemed to be the least of the film’s worries.

“His recent desire to be at the forefront of frame-based technology, however, is resulting in hollow, empty experiences that are literally hard to watch.”  


Add to this the fact that most American theatres aren’t even playing Gemini Man in the proper frame rate. So now we’ve got a somewhat debacle on our hands. But it brings up an interesting trend seen recently. 

Filmmakers Have Become More Demanding of How Audiences Should Watch Movies

This idea of audiences having to experience a movie exactly how a filmmaker intended has reached a peak in recent times. From the use of mobile screens, streaming, 3-D and now 4K and High Frame Rate (HFR), filmmakers seem to have become more demanding. 

And they’re not afraid of voicing it. 

Steven Spielberg has spoken out against streaming and how it’s killing the cinematic experience. Quentin Tarantino has always advocated for physical media. While Darren Aronofsky and Steven Soderbergh have moved with the times and are aware of the various ways people watch their movies. And are accommodating their own filmmaking process for it.

One of the most recently controversial takes on the commentary of films comes from Martin Scorsese. The filmmaking legend has completely embraced streaming, with his latest Netflix original The Irishman (read our review here). But Scorsese is now speaking out against the kind of movies that he considers cinema. 

Speaking about the Marvel Studios superhero films, the director added to his previous comments at a recent panel at the London Film Festival. 

“As I was saying earlier, it’s not cinema, it’s something else. Whether you go for that or not, it is something else and we shouldn’t be invaded by it.”

–Martin Scorsese

People weren’t too happy with Scorsese’s comments. And fans and critics seem to be having the same reactions to Gemini Man.

Gemini Man Reviews Echo Similar Reactions to Scorsese’s Comments

While Ang Lee has not made such inflammatory remarks about the future of filmmaking or streaming like others, his work has seemingly spoken for him. Continuing his obsession with HFR technology, the Gemini Man reviews clearly show critics’ frustrations with the filmmaker. Lee’s decision to shoot the film in a way that is jarring to audiences is coming off like an intentional way to get audiences to watch his movie, his way. 

Gemini Man Reviews Match Its Current Box Office 

While good or bad reviews rarely translate into the same at the box office, the Gemini Man reviews seem telling. The film is underperforming in its first weekend, barely holding on with Joker. 

When combined with the continued rise of streaming services, use of home media and the failure of films that demand certain prerequisites, audiences seem to have spoken. Especially given that, despite the filmmaker’s demands, quality of story and emotional affect continues to be the audience’s priority. 

Will Smith in Gemini Man. Image via Paramount Pictures.

Good films and stories will win out over technical tomfoolery. Having filmmakers dictate the audience’s experiences rarely enhances the desire to watch a film. Despite all this, Gemini Man reviews are not particularly disliking of the film’s story. But the technical aspects seem to have taken over any and all impressions of the film. 

Time will tell if Gemini Man’s success or failure is because of its HFR, or the story itself. Especially once the film inevitably releases on a streaming platform or home video. 

Gemini Man is now playing in theatres.

What did you think of The Gemini Man? Let us know in the comments below. 

Featured image via Paramount Pictures.


Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.


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