A lamentably mishandled Will Smith blockbuster blasts to Netflix success
Will Smith remains one of the most popular, highest-paid, and bankable stars in Hollywood, but he’s recently been dealing with accusations that his crown as the ‘King of Summer’ has been slipping somewhat.
He might be the favorite to land the Academy Award for Best Actor after dominating awards season so far thanks to his phenomenal turn in King Richard, while Bad Boys for Life was a huge critical and commercial success at the beginning of 2020, but there have been several notable missteps.
Four of Smith’s five worst-reviewed blockbusters ever arrived within the space of six years between 2013 and 2019, but while Suicide Squad made money and Bright had the benefit of being a Netflix exclusive, After Earth and Gemini Man bombed on both fronts.
The latter was a particular disappointment, with the A-list duo of Smith and director Ang Lee finally dragging the high concept sci-fi actioner out of development hell after two decades, only to deliver a colossal dud.
However, it’s surprisingly blown back into life on streaming this weekend, with FlixPatrol revealing that Gemini Man has instantly landed in seventh place on Netflix’s global most-watched list after reaching the Top 10 in 21 countries, hitting top spot in five of them.
A big budget epic tracing a veteran hitman being hunted down by a clone of his younger self packs almost limitless potential, so it’s almost impressive that an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and a beloved star conspired to create something so painfully and unforgivably dull.
The digital Smith Jr. dwells firmly within the uncanny valley, the plot treats everything with far too much seriousness, and the set pieces are functional as opposed to exciting. In short, Gemini Man was an indisputable disaster, albeit one that’s rocketed straight into the Netflix Top 10.