Warning: SPOILERS for Gemini Man are in play. If you haven’t seen the film yet, please turn back and escort yourself, and any clones you may be aware of, to the homepage.
Gemini Man looks like a huge action blockbuster on the surface, but it might come as a shock to you that there’s a lot to unpack underneath the film’s premise of a hitman facing a younger version of himself. The film’s finale, as well as how it ties into the entire film itself, is particularly a point that needs to be dissected, as it has a lot to say about what makes us people, and what could even make someone a particularly effective killer.
If you haven’t seen the film yet, it’s highly recommended that you experience Gemini Man for yourself before jumping in. Otherwise, if you’re still with us, we’re about to go over the ending to director Ang Lee’s film in detail and parse out what it means, as well as if it could lead to a sequel.
What Happens During The Ending Of Gemini Man?
The final showdown of Gemini Man sees Henry Brogan (Will Smith) and his new friend Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) squaring off against a slew of GEMINI operatives under the command of his former commanding officer, Clay Varris (Clive Owen). It’s his forces that have plagued Henry’s unsuccessful bid to retire from the life of a government hitman, which includes the use of his secretly created clone of Henry named Junior (Smith).
After scrapping through most of their encounters, Junior realizes his “father” has been more interested in using him as a prototype than raising him as a child, which sees the two fight in hand-to-hand combat, while GEMINI forces almost wipe a rural southern town off the map with enough firepower to wage a true war.
Temporarily subdued, Clay eventually comes to and unleashes a third clone to take out both Henry and Junior; only this one was bred to feel nothing in terms of both emotions and pain. This clone is killed and unmasked by Henry, Danny and Junior, and ultimately the remaining clone is motivated to kill his creator in anger.
Henry, in a moment of reflection and personal growth, warns Junior that if he kills Clay, he’ll start down the path of being a lifelong killer; much as he did. Wanting his younger self to have a chance at a life he never had, Henry Brogan gets Junior to stand down. Ending the threat to himself and Junior, Henry shoots Clay dead.
Flash forward a few months in the future, and Junior is now named “Jackson Brogan” and enrolled in college. Henry and Danny visit Junior to give him his official identity credentials, making him a whole new person in the eyes of the world and his former adversaries. Cue a fun argument over what “Jackson’s” future should be like between Henry and Danny, and the film ends.
Who Cares More For Junior, According to Gemini Man’s Ending
The final act of Gemini Man seems to boil down to one question: who’s the better father to Junior? That’s basically what Henry’s become at the end of the film, as he not only forces Junior to question his actions and where they’ll lead, but he also shows genuine care and affection for him as a person.
Does Clay Varris really love Junior as his son? It doesn’t seem like it, as again, he’s preoccupied with the clone as an experiment in combat, rather than an actual person. In turn, Varris actually gives Junior the baggage that he was hoping to shield him from. It’s the only Achilles Heel that the younger man actually has, and it’s what ultimately turns him against Clay.
In the end, Henry is the better father to Junior, because throughout Gemini Man he’s not trying to kill or even harm him if he can avoid it. He’s trying to save the young man, as he knows his life firsthand, and doesn’t wish it upon anyone else out there. Which is a by-product of how the film’s total package changes both Henry’s life, as well as Junior’s.
How Gemini Man’s Ending Changes Junior And Henry’s Lives
Seeing so much of himself in Junior, Henry’s decision to not let Junior kill Clay himself, but rather take that job into his own hands, is the true change in the path of Gemini Man’s young would-be killing machine. That moment shows the fatal flaw in Clay Varris’ whole plan, as he thinks a version of Henry without “baggage” is the ultimate killing machine. It wasn’t the fact that Junior was supposedly unburdened by emotional trauma that made him a good killer, but rather that he didn’t have the guidance in life to show him that there was another way.
Clay misunderstood what made Henry Brogan such a good killer. Henry didn’t know life could be about anything else, and he walked a dark, lonely path for two and a half decades, coming to this very point. If he really wanted Junior to continue to be his little murder man, he would have kept him as far away from Henry as he possibly could have.
Much like having a child, Henry Brogan sees the newly named Jackson Brogan as a way to prevent the mistakes of his own past from ever happening again. He opens himself to the live he could have had, and in turn finds himself as part of a makeshift family between himself, Jackson and Danny. It’s a nice ending with an interesting message, but is it really the end of Gemini Man’s story?
Could There Be A Gemini Man Sequel?
As we saw throughout the entire course of Gemini Man, the U.S. government was ready to go to some steep lengths to put Henry Brogan out of commission. And if he couldn’t trust them in letting him retire in peace, then how the hell can he trust their official word that GEMINI is dismantled, with no clones to speak of? That leads to the initial path towards the hypothetical Gemini Man 2 being the presence of another clone of Will Smith’s Henry still running around out there.
In that case, it’d be fun to spice things up a bit and learn the fact that Clive Owen’s Clay Varris turns out to be very much alive, through a younger clone of his very own. This new Clay/Junior 3 pairing could be Varris’ “going away present” to the world: an unstoppable duo of “Bad Boys” that come to wreck the day.
Or, there’s another option for where a potential follow-up could go, with Junior’s mere existence being a threat to the government that sanctioned the program in the first place. Which means that instead of the intrigue surrounding Gemini Man’s cloning process, it would now focus on a race against time to escape a garden variety hit squad and hide the young clone away for good.
Out of those two ideas, there’s some good groundwork for another action-fueled spectacle, should Gemini Man really want to move forward into the sequel game. Which poses the last, and most important question: should the film even have a sequel?
Should Gemini Man Even Have A Sequel?
Quite honestly, Gemini Man doesn’t need a sequel at all. In director Ang Lee’s singular film, the ethics of cloning and killing are both examined in great detail. Not to mention that with all of the work going into the story of Henry Brogan’s long dark night of the soul, via crossing paths with his younger self, it pretty much wraps itself up.
We don’t need to see any more clones or government conspiracies plague either Henry or Junior, and the funny note of upbeat life the film ends on is enough to seal the deal. If there’s any film that’s taught us that we don’t need to duplicate every experience in life, it’s definitely Gemini Man.
That’s our take on the ending to Gemini Man, but we’re curious about your thoughts concerning what we’ve just gone over. Should the Will Smith vehicle get a sequel, or is one ride good enough for this theatrical attraction? Vote in our poll below and leave us some comments explaining what you think about the chances of a sequel, or anything else we’ve discussed here.
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