Dull and Plodding Sci-Fi Horror is the Primary Mission of Project Gemini (2022)
Title: Project Gemini
First Non-Festival Release: January 6, 2022 (Theatrical Release)
Director: Serik Beyseu
Writer: Natalya Lebedeva, Dmitriy Zhigalov
Runtime: 98 Minutes
Starring: Egor Koreshkov, Alyona Konstantinova, Dmitryiy Frid
Where to Watch: Check out where to find it here
Steve (Egor Koreshkov) must leave Earth and his wife, Amy (Alyona Konstantinova), behind in an effort to save humanity. His mission, along with the rest of his team, is to terraform a remote planet, light years away from Earth, for others to follow. This will serve as Earth’s second chance to avoid the virus plaguing humanity and allow them to re-start safely. Amy is convinced that a vaccine can be created and Steve’s decision to leave anyway crushes them both. The mission seems to go according to plan until he crew stumble across something sinister on the planet.
Project Gemini is an irritatingly bland retread of dozens of sci-fi horror epics that have come before it that offers few thrills or brains.
A nonsensical mashup of multiple films in the Alien franchise without the action or drive that makes those works special, Project Gemini fails to differentiate itself from the vast universe of better sci-fi horror films that populate streaming services. Its plot centers around the need for humanity to terraform another planet due to a virus. By the time the film ends, it catches itself in a plot hole that makes it impossible. Avoiding this pitfall is something straight out of Sci-Fi 101, but the filmmakers couldn’t be bothered to ensure that this film made any sense. Issues like this pop up throughout the feature that make it difficult to remain invested in and actively destroy the film’s credibility to viewers.
The performances in body and voice are hopelessly dull. This gets potentiated by the terrible English dub over, which, for some reason, is on top of the actors speaking in English. Regardless of why this is deemed necessary, it takes plenty out of the film. The cast sleepwalks through the sci-fi horror house, barely emoting even when the more horrific elements come into play. It’s hard to blame them when the material given is as hollow as it is here. There is a distinct lack of characterization from most of the players in Project Gemini. Aside from the main character and primary human antagonist, there isn’t much effort taken to get to know these scientists or care about their why about joining the mission.
The mediocre script and performances can be forgiven if the film had any sense of purpose. Condensing it by 20-30 minutes would have made all the difference here, as every attempt to build up to moments of fear and tension is destroyed by hesitant line delivery or truncated action. It’s an obnoxiously serious film that has no self-awareness to how indistinct it is from every other film of its kind.
Decent production values help prop up the sagging script. Between the solid effects work, some slick low budget cinematography, and decent set design, Project Gemini has some confidence in its vision to create the next sci-fi horror epic. It does tend to bury much of this under dark lighting and excessively dynamic scenes. While not enough to recommend the film on its own, it’s sad to think about what the film could have been if as much effort had been poured into the scriptwriting and casting processes.
While not overtly terrible in terms of production, Project Gemini suffers from its needlessly bland storytelling and ineffective action sequences. No matter how high the stakes are, nothing ever feels genuine to the audience in terms of how or why the crew fights amongst each other. Flashy cinematography and solid special effects cannot make up for its lack of characterization and narrative substance. For fans of sci-fi horror, there are plenty better films to spend your time on without having to journey on this interminable voyage. If you want something brainless and familiar, Project Gemini might be one mission to sign up for.
Overall Score? 3/10