Gemini Man ★★★

Watched in the cinema (HFR IMAX 3D)

To finally see the highly underrated Mary Elizabeth Winstead back in a big cinema release-shooting bullets and kicking ass in High Frame Rate and IMAX 3D- is one of these heartwarming cinematic experiences I need so much in these dark days of Shocktober.

Even a simple look in the mirror sends Henry Brogen (Will Smith) a shiver down his spine. No matter how many missions the assassin of the US-American secret service DIA has successfully carried out: As soon as he sees his aging face, he is overcome by an eerie feeling as if he is confronted by a person who is as familiar to him as he is alien. Retirement is supposed to save him from the final loss of control in the face of the merciless passing of time - but it is at this very moment that his own, much younger clone is chased after him by villain Clayton Varris (Clive Owen).

Building on this premise, "Gemini Man" develops into a breathless chase across several continents and conspiracies. Henry is on the run, especially from himself, and director Ang Lee captures this restless feeling with a truly extraordinary production.

After already experimenting with 3D and increased frame rates in his multi-layered drama "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk", "Gemini Man" once again uses 120 frames per second, which not only provide unbelievable sharpness, but also an extraordinary feeling for speed and movement.

Most cinemas like the one where I just saw the film can only show "Gemini Man" with 60 frames per second, but even this frame rate (usually 24 frames per second) captivates with an overwhelming speed, so that you can hardly escape the force of the film. Ang Lee, who has never been embarrassed to integrate new techniques into his films, proves to be a master of his trade especially when he blurs the form with the narrated story. The director's signature can also be clearly felt in "Gemini Man" - he balances thrilling action scenes as light as a feather.

And "Gemini Man" has some of these action scenes to offer: With motorcycles, the characters jump over roofs when they're not in furious fistfights or slow-motion through the field of fire of their opponents. Ang Lee doesn't lose track of what's going on, on the contrary: even in the most furious moments his film radiates an amazing thoughtfulness that carries Henry's inner conflict to the outside. An example of this is a scene in which he fights with his young, almost immortal image in a crypt in front of the bones and skulls of long-forgotten generations and his body gets more and more scarred.

By the way, "Gemini Man" is also an exciting work in the filmography of leading actor Will Smith, who just a few months ago celebrated a small comeback with "Aladdin". In the meantime, the Disney remake has even displaced "Independence Day" as the Hollywood star's most successful film. Under the direction of Ang Lee, Will Smith now finds himself in a very special situation: Although he managed to remain his own brand despite various flops in the past years, in "Gemini Man" he is confronted with his digital replica, which is busy with nothing else than pushing him out of the film.

At the same time I am talking about an Ang Lee film - and they are always careful not to get lost in extremes. Thus, Will Smith's Henry is desperately looking for another way to solve the central conflict, which becomes complicated as soon as the clone poses the crucial questions to its creator and its environment.

Even if the screenplay of David Benioff, Billy Ray and Darren Lemke reaches its limits at a certain point in this development, Ang Lee's staging abilities transform "Gemini Man" into one of the most interesting films of the year, which retains a welcome curiosity for refreshing images until the end.

By the end of the 1990s, Tony Scott was already working on a realization of "Gemini Man". Ang Lee's film may have little to do with this version. Nevertheless, you can breath the 90's and the way Jerry Bruckheimer used to produce movies the whole time. It is fascinating that over two decades later another filmmaker was found who shares Tony Scott's vision of evoking emotions through the interplay of various technical means in cinema. Then it's not only the spatial depth of the fabulous 3D image that sucks you in "Gemini Man", but also the glimpse into the faces of Will Smith and the adorable Mary Elizabeth Winstead running for their lives on the big screen - fleeing and searching for feelings.

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