The second trailer for Will Smith's upcoming movie Gemini Man just dropped, giving viewers an expanded look at the science fiction action thriller. Smith plays an elite assassin who finds himself being targeted by a mysterious figure who can seemingly anticipate his every move: it is soon revealed that his pursuer is a younger clone of himself who was sent after him by his shady employers.
Will Smith pulls double duty in Gemini Man, playing both the grizzled older character and the clone, with director Ang Lee deploying CGI to make the clone appear strikingly younger. And the effect is... unnerving, to say the least. "It was like I was seeing a ghost," the older Smith says in the trailer, and honestly, same. Certain shots of the clone in the trailer are shocking in how effective they are; Smith looks just as he did back in the days of Fresh Prince. But other scenes which show him talking and interacting with other characters fall into uncanny valley territory.
It's the second time this year that a CGI version of Smith has fallen short of the mark. The internet freaked out back in February, when footage of Disney's live action Aladdin remake showed Smith in full computer-generated blueface as the Genie: truly the stuff of nightmares.
I feel nothing but a deep primal fear towards Will Smith as the new Genie. His ears are so big and his forehead stretches into infinity. I want to kill him with fire. Why do we have to suffer? A new #Aladdin film is just pointless. Please God, save us from this hell. pic.twitter.com/ogUlgDdkqN— almighty axolotl (@almightyaxolotl) February 11, 2019
CGI de-aging technology has come a long way since the uncanny, rubbery versions of Xavier and Magneto that appeared in the prologue of 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand. Earlier this year, Samuel L. Jackson starred in Captain Marvel as a much younger version of his character Nick Fury, and the way his appearance had been digitally altered fit seamlessly into the movie. So why is the effect in Gemini Man so off-putting? And when the producers saw what they hath wrought, why didn't they just call in Jaden Smith to play the clone instead?
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