Netflix subscribers are getting a double dose of Will Smith today now that I Am Legend and The Pursuit of Happyness have been added to the content library, but it’s one of his most recent and also most disappointing movies that finds itself creeping steadily up the Top 20 global most-watched list.
Having one of the world’s marquee A-list stars teaming up with an acclaimed filmmaker like Ang Lee to tackle a high concept sci-fi action thriller about a veteran hitman forced to outrun a cloned version of his younger self is the sort of thing that should result in fireworks, not to mention a sizeable amount of box office dollars, but instead, Gemini Man turned out to be a colossal dud.
Despite the caliber of the talent assembled on either side of the camera, it was one of 2019’s biggest commercial bombs after only managing to scrape together $173 million on a $138 million budget. The bare bones of the premise had been kicking around Hollywood for over a quarter of a century, and the other attempts to steer the project out of development hell must have been terrible if this was the one that finally got it made.
The entire movie hinges on how convincing the de-aging technology is, and as soon as the younger version of the leading man does anything other than remain completely still, the wheels come off. Gemini Man could have been a spectacular blockbuster in the right hands, and up until it was released, everyone was hoping that Will Smith and Ang Lee would have been the perfect duo for the job given their respective reputations for headlining entertaining crowd-pleasers and delivering acclaimed genre films, but it seems it wasn’t to be.