Directed by Serik Beyseu, “Project Gemini” is a science fiction space travel film that takes a team of astronauts and non-astronauts to outer space in search of a new home for humanity after Earth faces extinction.
Earth is facing extinction due to a virus. A new device has been unearthed that finally offers a way to create life. A second device is made using the first one. A team is chosen to travel to a new Earth, TESS, which has more or less the same atmospheric conditions as our planet. There, the team will begin the process of terraforming using the second device, so that humanity has the chance to live. However, they are unable to reach TESS and instead end up on another planet, which is even more akin to Earth’s conditions. They prepare to begin terraforming, not knowing that something menacing lurks inside their ship, something that has come out of the device itself. What follows is the team’s race against time to complete their mission while they face imminent death.
There is only so much to break down in a film that reminds you of another film in so many ways. As you read in the title, “Project Gemini” is an homage to the visual spectacle that is Interstellar (2014). Every concept in the film is the same, with the only addition being the alien. Thus, naturally, we cannot help but compare it with Nolan’s masterpiece. And the fact is, we don’t mind borrowing the concept from Interstellar, but what makes us do so is its slow pace, terrible acting, and even bad sound design.
The “beings of 4th dimension” concept where Cooper finds out that he was the one they all saw in the void to the very concept of finding another planet just like Earth and creating life on it rather than taking humans there; also, everyone is carrying something that reminds them of their loved ones, a souvenir of sorts. This certainly reminds us of Brand’s famous quote from Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar: “Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space.”
The clichéd we’re-having-a-baby formula is also used in “Project Gemini,” something that was intended to add to the film’s emotional arc but to no avail. It was a failed attempt that turned into another ludicrous affair. “I’m really happy… but it’s just poor timing.” This is what Steven tells his wife Amy when she tells him that they are about to become parents. And we have no idea what he means by that. “Project Gemini tries to glorify Steven, who goes all-in to save the Earth but fails miserably again. And all of this is due to very poor writing and execution. Perhaps, even the film mocks itself later on when David tells Steve that “you want to play the hero.”
While we are blown away by how much they are able to assess the sphere to the point that they realize it can create life, does it make sense that they weren’t able to find anything unusual at all inside it that could be a cause of concern? The Sphere is basically either a portal or an egg that brings an alien on board. But then, our minds decide to forgive them for the basic fact that it is sci-fi and anything is possible.
Similarly, Leona dies from the heat of the thrusters. This is another illogical thing they show in the film. Is Leona so engrossed in shooting an alien that she is unable to realize that she is standing right in front of a thruster of probably one of the biggest aircraft in the history of aircraft?
In another case, Steve gives the antigen formula to Amy while they are standing in two different timelines and yet are able to interact. We can forgive this concept now, thanks to Nolan’s time-travel and the multiverse of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But it is made clear that they aren’t able to touch each other. So how is Steve able to “give” the antigen formula to Amy? We literally see him hand her something, maybe a note or a sample. In any case, it’s impossible.
The two biggest drawbacks of “Project Gemini are acting and dubbing, both of which are the primary elements of any film. While some actors are struggling, others don’t even do that much. They are just saying their lines. There are no expressions. They probably used different voice actors for all the characters, at least the captain of the ship, or so it seems. The alien was a good addition, but “Project Gemini again wasn’t able to incorporate it properly either. The fear was never there, despite the struggle to make it fearful being visible.
The VFX is the most impressive and effective aspect of the film. It is also perhaps the only thing they spend their money on. There is no such thing as sound design other than a morose BGM that plays no matter what the scenario is, be it an emotional scene or a scene that has devastation.
All in all, the film struggles to maintain its intended impact and isn’t convincing. If you are thinking of watching it, you might just end up fast-forwarding it because, after a point, you will realize that you know the plot.
Directed by Vyacheslav Lisnevskiy, “Project Gemini” is a 2022 German science fiction film.