Can 'Gemini Man' Revive the Golden Age of '90s Sci-Fi?

When Ang Lee took over the project in 2017, he cast Smith in the lead role, giving the actor the unique opportunity to play both his current 50-year old self and his 23-year old self, who, thanks to the film’s revolutionary technology, looks like he just stepped right off the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air .

Upgrade (2018), Annihilation (2018), Sorry to Bother You (2018), Arrival (2016), 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016), Midnight Special (2016), Ex Machina (2014), Her (2013), and Looper (2012) have kept the genre feeling fresh at a discount, and made up for any lack in box office receipts with critical approval.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Independence Day: Resurgence (2016), Terminator Genisys (2015), Ender’s Game (2013), Cowboys & Aliens (2011), and Tron: Legacy (2010) all seemed like guarantee success stories, but barely made a blip on the radar, even if some have begun entering the realm of cult favorites on Blu-ray.

Ang Lee may not be a box office titan, but he has consistently experimented with new technology to push the film medium forward and he’s beloved by award season voters, which makes him the perfect director to deliver an original blockbuster success story.

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer is revered in the halls of blockbuster cinema, and while he’s had his share of duds over the past few years with The Lone Ranger (2013), The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), and G-Force (2009), his track record suggests that he may be able to strike gold again, especially now that he’s divorced from Disney.

Gemini Man looks appealing not simply because of its concept and slick action sequences, but because it looks to simultaneously tap into our nostalgia with a sunglasses wearing Smith, and also our desire for an original, high-concept property that doesn’t require any prior knowledge.

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