Gemini Man

Gemini Man

2019, PG-13, 117 min. Directed by Ang Lee. Starring Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong.

REVIEWED By Matthew Monagle, Fri., Oct. 11, 2019

Ang Lee makes big movies. Ang Lee makes expensive movies. Ang Lee does not make simple movies. For as much as films like Life of Pi and Hulk are exercises in mainstream Hollywood filmmaking, Lee has constructed a body of work tinged with the kind of self-reflection and sadness more often found in period dramas. That may not make him one of our best blockbuster filmmakers, but it certainly adds an extra level of thoughtfulness to something like Gemini Man. If it works for you, odds are it will work a lot.

It’s not enough that government assassin Henry Brogan (Smith) can still shoot a man in a moving train from more than a mile away. He knows his body, and his body says it’s time to retire. So Henry settles into a quiet life in a coastal town, not bothered in the least that his agency has sent Danny Zakarweski (Winstead, delightful as ever) to keep tabs on him in his retirement. That is, until Smith’s former employer Clay Verris (Owen) deems him a liability and sends a young clone named Junior (also Smith) to kill him. With special operatives breathing down their necks and a renegade clone hot on their heels, Henry and Danny must work together to figure out why Henry’s suddenly public enemy No. 1.

The big draw for Gemini Man is, of course, the two Will Smiths. While digital de-aging has come a long way over the past few years, it’s still a technology distinguished by its shortcomings. Our eyes have become trained to look at the problem spots – the jawline, the lips, the cheekbones – where the actor-that-was and the actor-that-is are awkwardly sewn together. Gemini Man succeeds where others have failed only by getting Smith’s voice right. While it’s unnerving to hear, say, contemporary Michael Douglas’ voice emerging from vintage Michael Douglas’ face, Junior’s voice contains the same edge that defined Smith’s characters in early breakouts Bad Boys and Independence Day.

We might even forgive the uncanny valley effect present on Junior’s face if Gemini Man made the de-aging process essential to the narrative. It’s not. Start the film with a flashback, and you could cast any twentysomething actor as the younger version of Smith. The elements of the narrative that seem to appeal to Lee – the penance we owe the younger versions of ourselves – would work no matter which direction the filmmakers took Junior. If Rian Johnson can get us to accept Joseph Gordon-Levitt in prosthetics as a young Bruce Willis in Looper, it’s fair to say we’ll buy any two actors in the right story.

If you can push past (or at least ignore) the often-wonky digital effects, you may find Gemini Man to be a charmingly melancholic approach to an action movie. There’s a scene in the middle of the film where Henry and Junior grapple for the first time; as he slowly loses the fight to his younger and more athletic opponent, Henry pleads with Danny not to shoot Junior. There are many sequences like this throughout the film – moments where Henry puts himself in harm’s way as penance for his past actions – that work because of the quiet sadness Smith brings to the screen. Even if the nature vs. nurture argument is never satisfyingly fleshed out, we can still appreciate how the sins of the father are being visited on the son.

Gemini Man features strong chemistry between its leads and an undercurrent of regret that makes it surprisingly empathetic for an action movie. Do away with the digital de-aging, and this might’ve emerged as one of the more enjoyable action movies of 2019. Then again, for some, it probably already is.

Showtimes

Fri., Oct. 18

12:25, 3:25, 6:25, 9:25

Sat., Oct. 19

11:25am, 2:50, 6:00, 9:05

Mon., Oct. 21

12:20, 3:20, 6:20, 9:20

Tue., Oct. 22

3:20, 6:20, 9:20
AFA 12:20

Wed., Oct. 23

12:20, 3:20, 6:20, 9:20

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Thu., Oct. 17

12:10, 3:10, 6:10, 9:15

Fri., Oct. 18

11:50am, 2:50, 5:20, 8:40

Sat., Oct. 19

11:45am, 2:50, 5:55, 9:05

Sun., Oct. 20

11:45am, 3:00, 8:50

Mon., Oct. 21

12:05, 3:05, 6:10, 9:10

Tue., Oct. 22

3:05, 6:10, 9:10
AFA 12:05

Wed., Oct. 23

12:25, 3:25, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 17

1:20, 4:20, 6:20, 9:20

Fri., Oct. 18

12:35, 3:35, 6:40, 9:45

Sat., Oct. 19

10:00am, 1:00, 4:45, 7:45, 10:50

Sun., Oct. 20

10:00am, 12:45, 4:10, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 21

12:00, 3:00, 6:30, 9:20

Tue., Oct. 22

4:10, 7:15, 10:05
AFA 1:05

Wed., Oct. 23

1:05, 4:10, 7:15, 10:05

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Fri., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10

Sat., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10

Sun., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:20, 10:10

Mon., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:20

Tue., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:20

Wed., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:20

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

3-D, HFR 2:00, 3:30, 8:00, 9:30
digital 12:30, 5:00, 6:30, 11:00

Fri., Oct. 18

3D, HFR 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30
digital 1:40, 4:40, 8:00, 11:00

Sat., Oct. 19

3D, HFR 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30
digital 11:00am, 2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Sun., Oct. 20

3D, HFR 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30
digital 11:00am, 2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Mon., Oct. 21

3D, HFR 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30
digital 2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Tue., Oct. 22

3D, HFR 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30
digital 2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Wed., Oct. 23

3D, HFR 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30
digital 2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

3-D, HFR 12:50, 6:50
3D, HFR 12:50, 6:50
digital 3:50, 9:50

Fri., Oct. 18

3D, HFR 12:50, 9:50
digital 9:50am, 3:50, 6:50

Sat., Oct. 19

3D, HFR 12:50, 9:50
digital 9:50am, 3:50, 6:50

Sun., Oct. 20

3D, HFR 12:50, 9:50
digital 9:50am, 3:50, 6:50

Mon., Oct. 21

3D, HFR 12:50, 9:50
digital 3:50, 6:50

Tue., Oct. 22

3D, HFR 12:50, 9:50
digital 3:50, 6:50

Wed., Oct. 23

3D, HFR 12:50, 9:50
digital 3:50, 6:50

Fri., Oct. 18

3D, HFR 1:45, 7:35
digital 10:50am, 4:40, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 19

3D, HFR 1:45, 7:35
digital 10:50am, 4:40, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 20

3D, HFR 1:45, 7:35
digital 10:50am, 4:40, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 21

3D, HFR 1:45, 7:35
digital 10:50am, 4:40, 10:30

Tue., Oct. 22

3D, HFR 1:45, 7:35
digital 10:50am, 4:40, 10:30

Wed., Oct. 23

3D, HFR 1:45, 7:35
digital 10:50am, 4:40, 10:30

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

3-D, HFR 12:10, 3:10, 6:10, 9:10
digital 11:05am, 1:55, 4:45, 7:35, 10:25

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Fri., Oct. 18

3D, HFR 12:15, 6:15
digital 3:15, 9:30

Sat., Oct. 19

3D, HFR 1:00, 7:00
digital 10:00am, 4:00, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 20

3D, HFR 1:00, 7:00
digital 10:00am, 4:00, 9:50

Mon., Oct. 21

3D, HFR 12:10, 6:15
digital 3:00, 9:00

Tue., Oct. 22

3D, HFR 12:10, 6:15
digital 3:00, 9:00

Wed., Oct. 23

3D, HFR 12:10, 6:15
digital 3:00, 9:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Thu., Oct. 17

10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Fri., Oct. 18

10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 19

10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 20

10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 21

1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 22

1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 23

1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Fri., Oct. 18

2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15
OC 9:30am

Sat., Oct. 19

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 20

2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 21

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 22

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Wed., Oct. 23

11:15am, 2:00, 4:45, 7:30, 10:15

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Thu., Oct. 17

3-D, CC 6:00, 9:15
3D, CC 6:00, 9:15
CC 12:30, 3:45, 7:30

Sat., Oct. 19

3-D, CC 10:15
CC 1:45, 5:00, 8:15

Sun., Oct. 20

3-D, CC 10:15
CC 1:45, 5:00, 8:15

Mon., Oct. 21

3-D, CC 10:20
CC 1:45, 5:00, 8:15

Tue., Oct. 22

3-D, CC 10:00
CC 1:45, 5:00, 8:15

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Thu., Oct. 17

CC 10:00am, 1:00, 4:00

Fri., Oct. 18

CC 10:10am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 10:10

Sat., Oct. 19

CC 10:10am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 10:10

Sun., Oct. 20

CC 10:10am, 1:10, 3:45, 6:45, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 21

CC 10:10am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 10:10

Tue., Oct. 22

CC 10:10am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 10:10

Wed., Oct. 23

CC 10:10am, 1:10, 3:45, 6:45, 9:45

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

3D, CC/DVS 3:30, 9:30
CC/DVS 12:30, 6:30
CC/DVS, IMAX 1:00, 4:00

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Thu., Oct. 17

11:40am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:20

Fri., Oct. 18

11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:20, 9:50

Sat., Oct. 19

11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:20, 9:50

Sun., Oct. 20

11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:20

Mon., Oct. 21

11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:20

Tue., Oct. 22

11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:20

Wed., Oct. 23

11:30am, 2:10, 4:45, 7:20

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Thu., Oct. 17

12:15, 3:15, 6:15, 10:00

Fri., Oct. 18

11:45am, 3:15, 6:15, 9:40

Sat., Oct. 19

11:45am, 3:15, 6:15, 9:40

Sun., Oct. 20

11:45am, 3:15, 6:15, 9:40

Mon., Oct. 21

11:45am, 3:15, 6:15, 9:40

Tue., Oct. 22

11:45am, 3:15, 6:15, 9:40

Wed., Oct. 23

11:45am, 3:15, 6:15, 9:40

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Fri., Oct. 18

3D, CC/DVS 11:00am
CC/DVS 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, 4:15, 6:30, 7:15, 9:30, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 19

3D, CC/DVS 11:00am
CC/DVS 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, 4:15, 6:30, 7:15, 9:30, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 20

3D, CC/DVS 11:00am
CC/DVS 12:30, 1:30, 3:30, 4:15, 6:30, 7:15, 9:30, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 21

3-D, CC/DVS 7:15
3D, CC/DVS 7:15
CC/DVS 2:00, 3:00, 4:45, 5:45, 7:45, 8:30

Tue., Oct. 22

3-D, CC/DVS 4:30
3D, CC/DVS 4:30
CC/DVS 2:00, 3:00, 4:45, 5:45, 7:45, 8:30

Wed., Oct. 23

3-D, CC/DVS 7:15
3D, CC/DVS 7:15
CC/DVS 2:00, 3:00, 4:45, 5:45, 7:45, 8:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
3D, CC/DVS 1:30, 4:30, 7:30, 10:30
CC/DVS 12:30, 3:45, 6:50, 9:50

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Thu., Oct. 17

10:15am, 1:15, 4:20, 6:30, 10:45

Fri., Oct. 18

12:05, 4:00, 7:00, 10:10

Sat., Oct. 19

12:05, 3:55, 7:00, 10:10

Sun., Oct. 20

12:05, 3:55, 7:00, 10:10

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Thu., Oct. 17

11:45am, 1:45, 4:15

Fri., Oct. 18

10:00am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:00, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 19

10:00am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:00, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 20

10:00am, 12:35, 3:50, 7:00

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Thu., Oct. 17

10:10am, 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 10:15

Fri., Oct. 18

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Sat., Oct. 19

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Sun., Oct. 20

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Mon., Oct. 21

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Tue., Oct. 22

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

Wed., Oct. 23

10:20am, 1:20, 4:20, 7:20, 10:20

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Thu., Oct. 17

1:50, 4:00, 7:10

Fri., Oct. 18

10:45am, 1:30, 4:40, 7:30, 10:10

Sat., Oct. 19

10:45am, 1:30, 4:40, 7:30, 10:10

Sun., Oct. 20

10:45am, 1:30, 4:40, 7:30

Mon., Oct. 21

2:00, 4:40, 7:20

Tue., Oct. 22

2:00, 4:40, 7:20

Wed., Oct. 23

1:20, 4:40, 7:20

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Thu., Oct. 17

10:40am, 2:20, 4:00, 7:10, 9:00
3-D 1:20, 6:45
3D 1:20, 6:45

Fri., Oct. 18

11:05am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:25, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 19

11:05am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:25, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 20

11:05am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:25, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 21

10:45am, 1:30, 4:15, 6:45, 9:30

Tue., Oct. 22

10:45am, 1:30, 4:15, 6:45, 9:30

Wed., Oct. 23

10:45am, 1:30, 4:15

Fri., Oct. 18

10:40am, 2:10, 4:20, 6:45, 10:45

Sat., Oct. 19

10:40am, 2:10, 4:20, 6:45, 10:45

Sun., Oct. 20

10:40am, 1:30, 4:20, 6:45, 9:45

Mon., Oct. 21

10:40am, 2:10, 4:20, 6:45, 10:45

Tue., Oct. 22

10:40am, 2:10, 4:20, 6:45, 10:45

Wed., Oct. 23

10:40am, 1:30, 4:20, 6:45, 9:45

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Thu., Oct. 17

12:00, 1:00, 3:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Fri., Oct. 18

11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 19

11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 20

11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:30

Mon., Oct. 21

12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 22

12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Wed., Oct. 23

12:45, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Thu., Oct. 17

3-D, CC/DVS 1:25, 10:10
3D, CC/DVS 1:25, 10:10
CC/DVS 12:00, 4:05, 7:40

Fri., Oct. 18

3-D, CC/DVS 2:25, 7:50, 9:30
3D, CC/DVS 2:25, 7:50, 9:30
CC/DVS 4:05

Sat., Oct. 19

3-D, CC/DVS 2:25, 7:50, 9:30
3D, CC/DVS 2:25, 7:50, 9:30
CC/DVS 11:00am, 4:05

Sun., Oct. 20

3-D, CC/DVS 2:25, 7:50, 9:30
3D, CC/DVS 2:25, 7:50, 9:30
CC/DVS 11:00am, 4:05

Mon., Oct. 21

3-D, CC/DVS 2:50, 7:40, 9:30
3D, CC/DVS 2:50, 7:40, 9:30
CC/DVS 11:00am, 4:05

Tue., Oct. 22

3-D, CC/DVS 2:50, 7:40, 9:30
3D, CC/DVS 2:50, 7:40, 9:30
CC/DVS 11:00am, 4:05

Wed., Oct. 23

3-D, CC/DVS 2:50, 7:40, 9:50
3D, CC/DVS 2:50, 7:40, 9:50
CC/DVS 11:00am, 4:05

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Ang Lee Films
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
A soldier returns home in Ang Lee's war movie

Marjorie Baumgarten, Nov. 23, 2016

Life of Pi
This time Ang Lee's tiger is not crouching; this animal has its claws out and has only an adolescent boy for companionship – or vice versa.

Marjorie Baumgarten, Nov. 23, 2012

More by Matthew Monagle
The Parts You Lose
Icy thriller has no idea what to do with its talented cast

Oct. 4, 2019

Fantastic Fest Review: <i>Fractured</i>
Review: Fractured
Workmanlike thriller is a lost opportunity

Sept. 26, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Gemini Man, Ang Lee, Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle