Gemini Man ★★★★

trust nobody... not even yourself

"They could have cloned Nelson Mandela."
"Nelson Mandela couldn't kill a man on a moving train from two kilometers away."

maybe unreality is the new reality. watched in 3D+ HFR (which i'm assuming was 60 fps at Regal) and i couldn't be more impressed, especially with the depth of field manipulation in the action sequences, like when Young Will and Old Will are trading shots at each other across the z-axis, both fully in focus. the subsequent dirtbike chase is an immediate Best Setpiece of the Decade contender, breathtakingly clean & inventive, with immersive POV angles and an elegant fluidity. the tech also serves an overt thematic purpose, its wonky slickness standing in for not just the increasing dehumanization of modern warfare -- this would pair well with THE BOURNE LEGACY -- but the increasing digitization of action filmmaking as well. Grizzled Will, the analog movie star of yesteryear, haunted by the prospect of a newer, shinier Mr. July. at one point these avatars of vitality & mortality do battle in a literal catacomb full of human skeletons.

this being an Ang Lee picture there is also a sincere, soulful streak to the human drama that i admired, Smith giving two distinctly moving performances that earnestly approach things like generational trauma, fear of abandonment, and absentee fathers in a way that grounds the film emotionally no matter the script's absurdities or deficiencies. the FAST & FURIOUS fan in me smiled, but i couldn't help imagine a John Woo version of this starring Modern Chow Yun-fat and Mark Gor era Chow Yun-fat. Ang does pepper the film with some unforgettable idiosyncrasies though, like a fleeting shot of Benedict Wong smoking The Big Cigar next to a toucan that exists for seemingly no other reason than to indicate some vague passage of time. how could you hate something this fresh & funky?

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