Movie Review: Replicas (2018)

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Keanu Reeves as William Foster in “Replicas”

I really wanted this movie to be good. Especially because Keanu Reeves is the lead character. I’ve been a fan since I saw him in Speed (1994) with Sandra Bullock. But unlike Matrix (which is a very successful franchise financially and critically), this scifi thriller failed despite its interesting premise:

William Foster is a brilliant neuroscientist who loses his wife, son and two daughters in a tragic car accident. Utilizing cutting-edge technology, William comes up with a daring and unprecedented plan to download their memories and clone their bodies. As the experiment begins to spiral out of control, Foster soon finds himself at odds with his dubious boss, a reluctant accomplice, a police task force and the physical laws of science.

220px replicas poster

For one thing, the plot has so many holes. True, fiction is make-believe, but it should also be plausible. Advancing the time setting to the year 2430 or thereabouts would have helped, I think. Setting the story in the present time makes it hard for viewers to believe in an out-of-this-world ultra-advanced cloning procedure (17 days and you got yourself a clone) and neural map extraction and insertion.

Also, how can you steal not one, but three, big cloning pods, ride them in a huge truck and manage to snuck out from a heavily-guarded biomedical facility without anyone noticing it, and without Keanu and his accomplice having any suspicion about it being too good to be true? Toward the end, it is revealed that the robbery was known all along and that Foster was allowed to do what he did to see if he could succeed, and that surprise! there’s a tracking device in each of the cloned bodies. Maybe I missed that part, but I don’t understand how it got there, or how a cloning pod, where a body was bred into adulthood in murky water, was able to insert a tracker inside the clone that can be disabled through electrocution.

Aside from the above, there are still many holes that leave questions in a viewer’s mind. I could go on and on, but I’m stopping right here and let you be the judge.

It seems, too, that Keanu couldn’t wear off his John Wick personality. As a grieving husband tormented into making a decision as to who among his family he will not clone, as well as many situations he found himself into, he is not very believable. It was hard to emphatize with him and invest in his character. Versatile actors like Robert De Niro and Dustin Hoffman have this uncanny ability to take a viewer into a different sensory experience regarding their character for each genre they star in. Keanu, sadly, hasn’t been able to take off his poker face, mumbling, grunting, limping style here, much like in Siberia (2018), another disappointment.

But the special effects are truly remarkable. Never mind that it borrowed some of Minority Report’s technology. In that regard, I’m not complaining. Hey, it’s scifi.

I sincerely hope Keanu would pick a tight-plot movie to star in in the near future. With a string of flops behind him, he desperately needs it.


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