Gemini Man (PG13)

Starring Will Smith, Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead , Clive Owen

Directed by Ang Lee

Let’s get this straight: the Gemini Man script has been kicking around since 1997. During this time, the sci-fi thriller — about an ageing spy being hunted by his much younger clone — attracted many suitors, including Mel Gibson, Clint Eastwood, and Harrison Ford. Sadly, there were no takers.

The project, once dubbed by studio execs as “the best action concept in Hollywood”, was left on the backburner because the FX technology then wasn’t that cutting-edge enough to replicate a convincing digital double.

Flash forward to the present. The tools have eventually caught up with the story’s ambitious demands, and it looks like they’ve broken the code under the aegis of two-time Oscar-winning director Ang Lee. After such a long-gestating period, why does the final product feel like a warmed-over Jean-Claude Van Damme love-fest? Except it’s Will Smith in the lead.

Smith plays Henry Brogan, a black ops specialist with the Defence Intelligence Agency. He’s one of those show-off assassins, the kind who likes to overdo things. Example: Why would Brogan choose to kill a target in a speeding train from a great distance, with a sniper rifle? Why can’t he do it up-close with more efficient and less conspicuous methods (heard of, say, poison?)  

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