During Covid 2: Rollercoaster, the sequel to Covid 1: Toilet Paper Crisis, I had a minute to watch some movies. I didn’t before because of work or just total lack of movie selections. I remember being at home during Covid 1, it was … interesting. Now that the numbers of cases have gone up and down like a rollercoaster I have dubbed this new time as Covid 2: Rollercoaster, keeping up with my movie theme for this piece (I call it Rollercoaster because it’s like we are good, then the numbers go up then down then up again).
I sat down, washed some clothes and watched Gemini Man, an action movie starring Will Smith. You may know him from such roles as the man who saves the planet in 80% of the movies he is in, LOL. Seriously, I love Will, he has an awesome range, has played a plethora of characters and has delivered in all his roles. One of the few actors who can give that real cry. You know the cry, it’s the one where your lip quivers and you get that little drip from your nose. It gets me everytime.
I’m not going to give away the movie but here is a brief synopsis:
Will Smith (Henry Brogen) is the best soldier/hitman contracted to the government. Some stuff happens (see I’m not going to give it all away) and he is then hunted by the only person who can stop him, himself. He has to fight his younger self and find out why this is happening to him. His younger self also is searching for answers after seeing he is hunting his older self.
When I heard the concept of this movie I was like, “Yea, I want to see that, then the reviews came in and they were not good (Honestly I was not impressed by the CGI, but I grew up in a time when 480p resolution was the best). But then I watched it and was like, ok, not a bad movie. (SIdebar: What is with Hollywood giving his movies bad reviews. They have been doing this for like 10 years now, and they have been pretty good movies. Maybe I have to look into that for another blog, ok back to this one). The thing is I had to watch this movie with different eyes.
Not just an action movie
If you are looking for explosions and hot bodies, watch a Michael Bay movie. If you want some gruesome scenes mixed with good dialogue watch a Tarintino film. If you want a fun romp and good adventure watch a Taika Waititi movie. My point is know what you are getting into when you go see or watch a movie. You already know if you watch a M. Night Shyamalan film you are going to get a little mind fondling and have a crazy twist at the end.
This is an Ang Lee film, he builds characters, tells a story and always inputs questions in his movies that make you discuss some interesting topics after you watch his movies. If you don’t know this is the same guy who made Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Life of Pi.
About 15 minutes into the movie I already knew it was building to be more than just a bullet flying slug fest. They were building the characters and setting up questions like what is morality? Is doubt ok? Who are we? What makes a person? What is a “perfect soldier”? I’m probably missing some more existential questions it asked. The action was good but it really spoke to who and what a person really is at their core.
Narrative of an overlooked people
I have felt misunderstood my whole life. I don’t feel anybody really understands me. I have lived almost 40 years without having a real sense of belonging to anything. So what do people like me do? We either fall into the cracks of society, become cogs meaning we live for our jobs, or we join churches, sports teams, fraternities/sororities, social clubs, anything to get around people and feel that we are part of the group or with people who get us. The reason I say overlooked people is because, how do you help a person who looks and acts normal but on the inside they feel like they are walking a tightrope over an abyss of insanity?
This movie took that view and put it through the eyes of a person who was a contracted soldier to the government. Throughout the movie Henry explains how he felt like he was a “weirdo”. He gives you little lines here and there about his past but always downplays how it really affected him. There is a scene where he wants to stop his younger self without trying to kill him while also trying to figure out what is really going on. He tells him the feelings and hurt he hides and buries deep. This emotional and honest dialogue makes his younger self question everything and he starts to believe this older version of him might actually be telling the truth because everything he said was right.
This scene is therapeutic for Henry but crushing for Junior because. Henry has actually been honest with himself (pun possibly intended) and Junior has to now question his entire existence. If I could tell my younger self some stuff now, man, I would have to give him a book. BUT, In a way I have that chance with my son.
I know as a father one of my biggest things I ever wanted to do was pass on my legacy. Imagine there is a person that has all your knowledge and none of your hurt or mistakes. A person who can add his/her own experiences to the ones that you have shown and taught them. It’s what every parent wants to do.
We find out, through some dialogue, that Henry has no kids, wife, girlfriend, nothing, just himself. A friend asks him when he is done, who is good enough to do his job? In my personal opinion I think one of the hang ups Henry has is that he never started his own family and seeing his younger self brought up so many emotions, one being equivalent to a father fighting his son.
I would not call this a total action movie. Today is any movie just one genre anymore? This movie has layers. Is it an Oscar worthy, um, no. BUT, it is a good Saturday evening movie. I would also say it’s a good date night movie. Why? Because it will give you a good conversation after. I’m not going to give away the end but I will say it is therapeutic for the main character. So if you are looking for some action, soul searching questions, a little suspense salt and peppered with some government conspiracy this is a good pick.
All pictures are property of Paramount pictures