Australian Council on Children and the Media

Gemini Man

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Not suitable under 13; parental guidance recommended to 15 (frequent action violence and coarse language)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Gemini Man
  • a review of Gemini Man completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 October 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to frequent and strong violence, emotionally distressing scenes and coarse language.
Children aged 13–15 Parental guidance recommended due to frequent and strong violence, emotionally distressing scenes and coarse language.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Gemini Man
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Action violence and coarse language
Length 117 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Set in the present time, Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is an elite assassin for the ‘Defense Intelligence Agency’ (DIA). Now 51, and with 72 kills under his belt, he feels it is time to retire. However, Henry then gets tipped off that the DIA had presented him a spiked file of his last target, and consequently he did not actually kill a terrorist, but a scientist. As the DIA track his every move, they know that Henry has this classified knowledge and decide to eliminate him. At the same time, Henry uncovers and befriends another DIA agent, Danny Zakarweski (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who was supposed to keep a close watch on him. Now both targets, they are on the run with the help of Henry's loyal friend Baron (Benedict Wong). As Henry is the highest skilled assassin, several attempts to kill him fail. It seems that only one man has what it takes to take Henry down: ‘Junior’ (also Will Smith), adopted son of Clay Verris (Clive Owen) who runs the mysterious paramilitary program ‘Gemini’. As Henry and Junior confront each other, they make a disturbing discovery: Junior looks like a young version of Henry. Danny suspects that Junior is a son that Henry does not know about, but a DNA test brings a far more shocking result: Junior is Henry's clone. Project ‘Gemini’ does not stop there, as Henry reveals the secret project in which human clones are genetically modified to remove pain, fear and doubt, making them the perfect soldiers for US military missions.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Science Fiction; Assassination; Secret government organisations; Government conspiracy; Cloning humans; Genetically modifying humans; Ethics of cloning; Ethics of war; Identity struggles.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • a government hit-man assassinates a man by shooting him on a public train. The victim is seen dead with blood splattered everywhere and shocked civilians are screaming
  • characters use guns, machine guns, hand grenades and knives
  • numerous side characters get killed, mainly by shooting or in explosions
  • one supporting character gets killed in a car explosion
  • persons fight using self-defence and martial art moves including punching, throwing, kicking, strangling and biting
  • persons get hit by cars and motorbikes
  • a person gets held under water
  • a major character gets executed when unarmed
  • a person gets deliberately injected with bee venom and almost suffocates in an allergic shock
  • a person gets set on fire.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • there is a scene in a gloomy Hungarian underground crypt where the walls are covered in human skulls and bones.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • a father pushes his son under water so that he is afraid of drowning
  • people are seen crying and in emotional distress
  • a character finds out that his adoptive father has lied about his parents and his past.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • the main characters of the movie constantly fear for their lives, get followed, attacked, and injured
  • a person's arm is cut open to reveal a secret spying microchip
  • a father is ready to sacrifice his adoptive son for a greater goal
  • a son wants to kill his own adoptive father.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • it is revealed that a secret government agency has created an army of genetically modified human clones.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Coca Cola
  • Stella Artois
  • Tesla.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • a remark that one of the characters is still a virgin.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Danny is asked to undress so she can be searched for hidden bugs or wires. She keeps her underwear on and is only briefly seen in her bra.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • some casual drinking of beer, shots and whiskey
  • a suggestion that one of the characters used to have an alcohol problem and is therefore recommended to drink a soft drink.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • various phrases including the word "shit"
  • "goddamn"
  • "asshole"
  • "ass"
  • "bullshit"
  • "motherfucker"
  • "Hell".

In a nutshell

Gemini Man is a fast-paced science-fiction action movie, featuring Will Smith playing a double role as a ready-to-retire assassin, with computer animation creating his young clone. Frequent action violence and coarse language make it unsuitable for children under 13 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 13 to 15.

The main message from this movie is that activities of secret government agencies and underground organisations create ethical dilemmas, both for individuals involved as well as society.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Conscience and remorse
  • Finding one's own identity
  • Trust.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • assassination and murder and the consequences for not only the victims but also the perpetrator
  • megalomania
  • abuse of trust
  • manipulation of others for one's own benefit
  • ignoring important rules and regulations and breaking laws
  • exploiting scientific progress: not everything that is possible is ethical.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of:

  • seeing the bigger picture: a potential problem with this movie is that the audience is encouraged to sympathise with the protagonist. It is a fact, however, that he has systematically killed 72 people, plus countless more during the course of the movie, and this is too easily ignored and excused in light of his personal drama of finding out he was betrayed and cloned. He comes across as a pleasant, smart and nice guy – but considering the scale of killing, has rather little remorse. Instead, he mainly gets portrayed as a victim of the system.

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