“Replicas” stars Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch, and John Ortiz. Released on January 11, 2019, the film is about a neuroscientist who attempts to revive his family.
The film is directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, who also directed “Traitor” and wrote “The Day After Tomorrow”, “The Tourist”, and “The Last Stand”. Sometimes, we all wanted to bring our loved ones back from beyond the grave. Too bad our ways of doing it can lead to nothing but trouble. After making his presence known once again thanks to the “John Wick” films, Keanu Reeves will be starting the new year off with a sci-fi thriller that showcases how far people will go to revive their loved ones. It was supposed to be released last year, but the filmmakers moved it to January because there’s hardly any tough competition during that month. Given the fact that it was shot in 2016, that usually spells bad news for the team behind this film. I already saw two movies that impressed me during the month of January, so let’s see how this one turns out.
The story follows William Foster (Reeves), a neuroscientist who specializes in synthetic biology. When his family, including his wife (Eve), is killed in a car accident, William uses his knowledge to resurrect them by turning them into biological clones. This strategy leads to a conflict between him and the company he’s working for. This is another movie that deals with using science to play God, which is something that every scientist should know about before they do something they’ll regret later on. Problem is, it didn’t give a rat’s butt about this type of concept. Not only did the film miss every single opportunity to provide some depth in its story and characters, but it’s neither dramatic or thrilling enough to fall into the “entertainment” category. The first act of the film started off well, but after that, it immediately reprogrammed itself to be a generic and dull sci-fi “disasterpiece” that failed to represent its memorable themes and fulfill its intriguing premise. Despite the underwhelming direction from Jeffrey Nachmanoff, the actors were able to deliver some passable performances, including Reeves and Middleditch as William Foster and Ed Whittle, respectively. There were also some visuals that worked reasonably well, but as a whole, they’re nothing but unconvincing and hokey, especially the robot movements during a couple of scenes. The way the visual artists made the robot move reminded me of the old stop-motion cartoons from Rankin/Bass Productions, and not in a good way. We have other robot films that have smoothly-crafted visuals to display the movements, like “I, Robot” and “Transformers”. Why didn’t they make the visuals on the robot in this film just as good as those movies?
Overall, “Replicas” is an experiment that fell apart very quickly and never recovered. Due to its underwhelming plot, its weak script, and its lack of genuine thrills and strong drama, the film completely wastes Reeves’ talent and the audience’s time. It’s probably best for Reeves to stick with the “John Wick” franchise for the time being until he can find something that doesn’t lead to disaster. But this is just the beginning, ladies and gentlemen, as we got a bunch of upcoming films that might wind up being as bad as this, so be prepared for what’s coming next.