To 3D Or Not To 3D: Buy The Right Gemini Man Ticket

Gemini Man young Will Smith looks away from the fire in the catacombs

Will Smith is ready to face off against his greatest foe ever: a younger, angrier Will Smith. After decades of development, and some interesting technical advances, Gemini Man is ready for audiences to see its finished product at work. But the film’s not ready to stop at an intriguing concept, as director Ang Lee is back again with his High Frame Rate 3D apparatus, in an effort to turn this action-adventure film into a spectacle in the third dimension.

That means it’s time to ask that famous question we’ve come here to answer: to 3D or not to 3D? If you’re curious about how we felt about the movie itself, head over to our official review to get the scoop. But if you’re ready to find out if you’re better off spending some extra coin on a 3D presentation, or if you should save up for an emergency DNA test, this is where you want to be.

Before we start the evaluation, there’s one thing that should be pointed out: HFR 3D is the only way you’ll be seeing Gemini Man available in this format. We saw the film at an advanced screening in 120 FPS (Frames Per Second), in 2K resolution and Dolby Vision projection. The more widely available version of the Gemini Man’s HFR 3D heading to theaters will be a scaled down 60 FPS version.

3D Fit Score: 3/5

Usually, how well a movie fits into the 3D realm is more of a pass/fail sort of metric. Either your movie doesn’t make itself accessible to such action, or you don’t. Gemini Man represents an interesting outlier, as the film is a very mixed prospect when viewed in the context of a 3D presentation. There’s moments that really lend themselves to the medium, but there are also whole swaths of time that could have been better served as a mere 2D presentation, making Gemini Man all the weirder to behold.

Planning & Effort Score: 4/5

What can’t be understated is the planning and effort put in to Gemini Man’s 3D presentation. In an industry that’s almost totally about 3D conversions, director Ang Lee actually filmed his vision for this particular story in High Frame Rate 3D. Much like his previous experiment, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, the film was crafted directly in 120 FPS 3D, and it shows. But even in this special presentation, there are some aspects that don’t perform as well in their execution.

Before the Window Score: 2/5

The largest problem with Gemini Man is the fact that, when it comes to the 3D being used, there’s not a lot of stuff being projected out into the audience. This kind of ties into the fact that this film isn’t the best fit for 3D, as there are only a couple of aspects that really engage in any sort of eye-popping. A huge shoot out towards the end of the film explodes some items out at the audience, and a couple of scenes where characters have guns pointed at their faces are impressive as well, but that’s about it.

Beyond the Window Score: 4/5

On the more pleasing side of Gemini Man’s 3D work, there’s near limitless depth when it comes to the picture on display. Characters and their environments are shown in crisp contrast, with clear spatial reasoning at work throughout the film. If there are any sort of shortcomings in this particular field, it’s that the backgrounds aren’t as deep as they could be. In particular, some scenes feel as if the background was dropped in via green screen; but even in those cases, the depth between the actors and those backdrops are well drawn.

Brightness Score: 4/5

When filming a movie like Gemini Man, the high frame rate 3D requires a different, more intense sort of lighting while shooting the practical scenes. It’s thanks to that particular aspect that this film’s brightness works as well as it does, and in a consistent fashion. There’s still a slight amount of dimming in the picture that was shown in this particular screening, with some of the film’s more nocturnal scenes being even dimmer. The majority of Gemini Man is bright and watchable, with daytime scenes clear as day; but night shots are a slightly more mixed bag.

Glasses Off Score: 5/5

If you’re ever tempted to remove your glasses during a 3D movie, the first thing you should notice is the blurry quality of the picture before your eyes. That typically represents the amount of manipulation that the images have undergone, in order to make everything you see more 3D ready for when you slip your glasses on. And as far as the blur is concerned with Gemini Man, there’s a ton of it at work throughout the entire film. From the more subtle blur on aspects closer to the front of the frame, to the heavy degrees shown in the background, there’s always something going on with the picture.

Audience Health Score: 4/5

Watching films with dizzying action sequences can be a bit disorienting, which can, in turn, take the audience out of the experience. Gemini Man does have a couple of frenetic moments that are a bit too fast paced for the 3D to catch up with, but those aren’t a huge concern when it comes to the visual story being told. With only a couple of bumps, and some minor issues with the brightness factor, Gemini Man is mostly a smooth ride.

Gemini Man

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Director Ang Lee and his team attempted to push the boundaries of High Frame Rate 3D yet again with Gemini Man, and while the result is interesting to watch, it’s a step back from the tremendous efforts Lee turned in with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The end result is still a decent 3D experience, but your mileage may vary when it comes to the new technology on display. If you can find it, HFR 3D is probably your best bet when it comes to seeing what Gemini Man is really trying to accomplish on a technical level. Though, on a story level, the effect isn’t as essential.

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Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.