By Ethan Alter, Yahoo Entertainment
To borrow a lyric from one of Aladdin’s signature songs, you ain’t never seen a Will Smith movie like this. The Men in Black star returns to the sci-fi realm with Gemini Man, playing Henry Brogan, an assassin who comes face-to-face with... himself. No really, it’s his younger, faster, stronger self. Directed by Ang Lee and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, the film is a cat-and-mouse game where the cat and mouse happen to be the same creature. (Watch the new trailer above.)
It should be noted that even though they share the same face, the two Henrys are very different. The 50-year-old version is a weary, cynical veteran of too many covert operations. His 23-year-old junior has been reared to have a serious chip on his shoulder by Henry’s ex-employer, Clay Varris (Clive Owen).
“25 years ago, he took my blood,” the older Smith tells the younger one. “He made you from me. He’s been lying to you the whole time.” That line of argument doesn’t work on Junior, though, whose M.O. appears to be punch first and talk later.
Two-time Oscar winner Lee used high-frame-rate technology to sell the illusion that audiences are watching 1990s era Will Smith act opposite his 2019 self. And if present-day Smith, 50, felt any trepidation about watching his past come to life onscreen, he hasn’t admitted to it.
“Looking at youth versus experience, the 20s sucked ass,” the actor remarked at a recent Gemini Man press event. “Maybe my 30s were better. Now I’m more comfortable in my own skin.”
Read more: Why Men In Black 4 flopped
“The concept of a man being chased by himself, that’s a really compelling idea for a story,” Lee explains in a behind-the-scenes featurette (watch below). “When you see the two Will Smiths, that’s something we’ve never experienced before.”
The film’s special effects artists also take care to note that the 23-year-old Smith seen in Gemini Man isn’t the result of the digital de-aging process seen in Marvel Studios productions like Captain Marvel and Ant-Man.
Instead, they used the performance capture process to create the star’s digital doppelgänger. No matter how they made it happen, it gives a whole new meaning to Smith’s hit 1988 song “Just the Two of Us.”
Here’s how Twitter is feeling about the prospect of Smith vs. Smith.
Deadshot VS Fresh Prince of Bel Air #GeminiMan A must see.— Jason R. Moore (@JasonMooreENT) July 25, 2019
#GeminiMan... WOW... just... WOOOOOOW!— Gwendolyn Jae (@GwenLovesMovies) July 25, 2019
As a lifelong Will Smith fan with a recent growing love and appreciation for Ang Lee films, this movie looks INCREDIBLE. I really feel like this could be one of my favorites of 2019.
“Man, does Will Smith even age at all?” -me watching the Gemini Man trailer and not sure if I was looking at 25 year old or 50 year old Will Smith the whole time 😩 #GeminiManpic.twitter.com/Ze8bmAf7i6— .♛. #BBNaija (@theCyberNewt) July 25, 2019
Imagine Harrison Ford as he is now pitted against a digital 30 year-old Ford. There were rumours of him doing Gemini Man back in 2000; Sean Connery was also once linked. pic.twitter.com/S0MxPRnXy1— Nick de Semlyen (@NickdeSemlyen) July 25, 2019
Gemini Man opens in cinemas soon.