Gemini Man marketing is resorting to Will Smith memes. The new film from Oscar-winning director Ang Lee can certainly claim the honour of being one of the most technologically ambitious films of the past year, with a strong cast to match.
Will Smith takes on the film’s lead role as Henry Brogan, an American government assassin who is nearing the end of his career. After completing what he decides will be his last assignment, Brogan finds himself being hunted by his deadliest opponent yet: a 23-year-old cloned version of himself. The film was shot at a high frame rate (120 frames per second) and while that may seem an attractive detail to some, the truth of the matter is that only a handful of theaters in the United States are equipped to screen Gemini Man as it was intended to be seen. There is also the issue of Will Smith starring opposite a de-aged version of himself, the likes of which have been both praised and criticised by critics as well as audiences.
At present, the film’s early reviews haven’t exactly been spectacular, though of course, it is still too early to determine whether or not Gemini Man will sink or swim at the box office. For its part, Paramount has apparently resorted to social media memes in hopes of drawing more attention to the film. The first of these can be seen below and is somewhat of a treat for Smith fans, as it shows the star undergoing the process of some green screen effects, moments before things get a little, well… zany.
Without placing judgement on Paramount for its new marketing technique, it does seem a little odd to take things in this direction at this point. Smith is a respected industry veteran, with two Oscar nominations to his credit and Lee is a two-time Oscar winner, synonymous with numerous high profile films. But even beyond the pair’s artistic achievements, the Gemini Man meme seems so completely incongruous with everything to do with the film itself that it’s hard to understand exactly why Paramount made the decision to move things in this direction. That being said, the sensation that Joker has caused as of late has indeed been a distraction from Gemini Man’s potential. And although some reviews have accused Lee’s film of being dull in terms of story, Gemini Man’s intended highlight of a de-aged Smith was likely soured by the recent reveal of Martin Scorsese’s far more impressive use of de-aging techniques on Robert De Niro in the acclaimed filmmaker’s upcoming The Irishman.
If things continue in the direction they’re currently heading in for Gemini Man, the film’s future is unlikely to be a positive one. No one likes to see a film with such an interesting concept, alongside a talented cast and crew, fail. But of course, such are the risks in Hollywood, and the fact remains that Gemini Man could indeed still turn things around, managing some solid returns and word of mouth - though if it does find such a level of success, it’s unlikely to be the result of its current meme.
Source: Paramount Pictures