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Project Gemini

aka Zvyozdniy Razum
Directed by Serik Beyseu
Project Gemini available on digital platforms now from Ignition

Earth is dying. With a disease ravaging plant life, carbon dioxide is increasing whilst oxygen is decreasing in the atmosphere. The impact on the eco-system of Earth is devastating but there’s also an additional threat to humans. Whoever has consumed food containing infected plant material find themselves developing severe auto-immune diseases.

Pioneering scientist Dr Steven Ross has launched PROJECT GEMINI using alien technology his team discovered on Earth that was once used to terraform the planet four billion years ago. Using this technology, Steven has found a distant planet they’ve named TES that is perfect to terraform for Earth 2.0, so he and a group of researchers and military-trained pilots set off into space to investigate, in order to save humanity. However, during the jump to TES many light years away, something goes wrong and they end up in a completely different location in space. However, that’s the least of their worries when they discover they’re not alone on board.

Sci-fi feature film PROJECT GEMINI takes on the idea of global warming, albeit exacerbated by the arrival of a disease, as the driving force behind the characters life or death mission to find a new home for the human race or face extinction. With people already dying from auto-immune diseases as a result, the rest of Earth will eventually suffocate as the oxygen levels continue to drop. The mission to colonise a new planet, with similar, liveable conditions to Earth is a daring but seemingly promising one. Dr Steven Ross’ discovery of the alien technology sphere and engine, which they’ve been able to clone, has given them the key to create life elsewhere but the clock is ticking and the time to act is now.

When we first meet the characters on board the space craft, they seem a likeable bunch who just seem to have hit a spot of bad luck. It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened in space! It’s great how the film then moves up a gear as not only are they ‘lost in space’ but they have something else to deal with. As tension begins to arise from the situation they find themselves in, being stuck in space on a ship only seems to intensify the feeling of panic and claustrophobia. Though the team hold it together, I personally couldn’t help but get a sense of paranoia from the entire thing. Watching all those sci-fi movies throughout the years doesn’t help!

Though we’re initially on side with Dr Steven Ross, you can’t help but get the feeling that there’s something he’s not telling the rest of his crew. Being the one who knows the powerful sphere’s secrets inside and out, suspicions rise about his true intentions and it’s hard to judge whether he truly intends to save Earth or whether he’s driven by other motives. Even flashback scenes with him and his pregnant wife feel ‘off’, as he seemingly plays down her research into a vaccine for humans inflicted by auto-immune diseases. You can see her enthusiasm killed in an instant by his words, her hopes dashed by his attitude as he seems obsessed with the sphere and Earth 2.0. What is really going on with this guy and how many lives will be lost before we find out?

When watching PROJECT GEMINI, I couldn’t help but compare it to sci-fi horrors gone by. It gave me Alien and Event Horizon vibes at times, and whilst it borrows certain essences from those films, it’s its own creature and manages to create something intimate that works. That doesn’t mean it gets it right all the time though. There’s parts where the scene is rolled through too quickly or jumps from one thing to another therefore losing the effect it intends to have on the audience, but, as a whole, it’s a darn fine effort. The lighting, set design and aesthetics create an incredible atmosphere within the film complimented by sound work that fits the movie like a glove. My only real complaint is the English dubbing can be a bit jarring when watching the movie but fortunately the strength of everything else, especially some action-packed moments involving the invader onboard, was enough to take my mind off it. For the most part, it’s not obvious from the dialogue mouthed but the recording done in a studio doesn’t have the same resonance to it than it would if dialogue was recorded insitu, therefore the clarity of it can take you out of the moment at times.

PROJECT GEMINI rises to the challenge of its ambitious idea, producing an enjoyable sci-fi thriller which genuinely wracks up the tension as it brings many sci-fi threads together.

Rating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

About Bat 8055 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Webbed.

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