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“Movies like Gemini Man are usually ideal airplane viewing. Take a formulaic plot about spies and cloning, then add dialogue so predictable that getting interrupted by pilots’ announcements and turbulence and your seatmate’s need to get up and use the bathroom won’t detract from the experience. Pad it out with some lovable movie stars (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, and not one but two versions of Will Smith) and big fight scenes (in this case, something akin to pistol-whipping with a motorcycle), and bam, you’ve got a decent way to spend half your flight to Thanksgiving.
Gemini Man, directed by Oscar winner Ang Lee, fulfills every one of these requirements. He even makes sure not to trouble the viewer with any pesky existential questions — surprising, since the film is ostensibly about what makes us human. But Gemini Man is a weirdly inhuman movie (more on that in a moment), and it would make for a terrible airplane watch because it is not a movie about its story or even its action sequences. Since the movie’s whole reason for being is technical wizardry, if you were watching on the back of an airplane seat you’d just be left with a bafflingly emaciated movie about nothing. Gemini Man is a demo reel for some fancy new movie technology, an EPCOT attraction dressed up as an action flick.
Or is it just an empty-headed lights show? I’m genuinely not sure how best to think about this confounding, deeply unsatisfying movie. It’s either a crashingly dull facsimile of a shit-blows-up thriller, or maybe, just maybe, a wildly subversive comment on Hollywood’s looming dark future — a slick bit of meta-commentary on itself, Black Mirror-style.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"The top brass of China’s Communist Party (CCP) – its 370-strong Central Committee – recently emerged from the Fourth Plenum of the 2017 Party Congress. Such meetings, usually one a year, are key forums for policy discussion. At the previous..."
"Mayor Pete is having his moment — for the second time in the campaign. Surging to the head of the pack in a recent Iowa poll, and edging out Vice President Joe Biden in last quarter's money race, Buttigieg is staking his claim to being the..."
"careful reading of Walden; or, Life in the Woods makes it clear that Thoreau never intended his cabin to be a solitary hermitage, although fans and detractors alike often misunderstand this. It was more an author’s workshop than a fortress of..."
"In the fall of 2015, a rash of posters appeared around Copenhagen. One, in pink letters laid over an image of chicken eggs, asked, “Have you counted your eggs today?” A second — a blue-tinted close-up of human sperm — inquired, “Do they swim too..."
"While there’s plenty of disagreement about how the money should be used, almost everyone involved in public-policy debates agrees that it would be good if the federal government could collect more revenue without raising tax rates or reducing..."
"On a brisk November night, a solitary man wandered around the plaza outside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on the edge of downtown. He had just flown alone from New York to see his favorite comic, Louis C.K., and he had an extra..."
"Judaism has been described as many things: a culture, a people, a religion, a nationality, and more (including, according to answers given to the 2013 Pew survey of American Jews, a culinary disposition for bagels and smoked salmon or the..."
"US sex education is decades behind other countries. Right now, it isn’t even mandatory in every state. Add to that the awkwardness people feel about sex and bodies in general, top it with the idea of having to have these discussions in public..."