A nice, sci-fi January dump.
Synopsis: A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident. (D Films)
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, and Thomas Middleditch
Writer: Chad St. John
Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Rating: 14A (Canada)/PG-13 (United States)
Running Time: 107mins
When it comes to films that show up seemingly out of nowhere with little to no advertising within the first few weeks of January, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise when they’re not good. Either way, these types of films need to be released some time anyway so the periods after major holidays are likely destinations as they pose less of a risk for major studios. Replicas is one of these types of films. It’s completely ridiculous but not in a so bad that it’s good kind of way. Instead of embracing its ridiculousness, it tries to take itself way too seriously while trying to tell a complete mess of a sci-fi story full of boring exposition, stupid twists and turns, questionable character decisions, and other various contrivances.
The trailers pretty much give the film away. Will Foster (Reeves) was a scientist who had almost mastered transferring consciousness from one entity to another. Lucky enough for him, his big break came after a tragic car accident that led to death of his wife Mona (Eve) and children (Emily Alyn Lind, Emjay Anthony, and Aria Lyric Leabu). The idea of what it meant to be human shifted to the ethics behind human cloning in the blink of an eye. Not wanting to lose his family, Foster brought them back to life by having them cloned. This would present its own set of issues as far as Foster was concerned. This part of the story may have arguably been interesting but it of course did not go with it for very long. It’s only inevitable that it ultimately would all come crashing down.
Suffice it to say that this film requires the suspension of belief as it will definitely challenge most viewers, becoming more and more preposterous as the film went on. The story for the most part was stupid and took large leaps, leaving plenty of logic gaps and plot holes in its wake. The dialog is horrendous. The characters are shallow and mostly unlikable. The visual effects were laughable at best. However, its most glaring issue was, as mentioned, its messy plot. It seemed unsure about this type of story it wanted to tell. Though the middle act of the story was by far the best, it didn’t go deep enough and all of its acts could never quite fit together in a satisfying way.
Now it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the acting wasn’t all that great either though the horrendous script did not do the actors any favors either. The worst culprit was Reeves as Foster. His wooden performance made it impossible to connect with his character who just happened to be vital to the plot. All the other performances were more on the lifeless side (which is only fitting), starting with Eve as Foster’s wife Mona. She was perhaps the biggest victim of the horrendous material but her lack of chemistry with Reeves didn’t help her case either. She was the hapless wife and nothing more. Middleditch was okay as Foster’s friend Ed and the voice of reason in the background.
Overall, Replicas is a ridiculous mess of a sci-fi film with plenty of plot holes, logic gaps, and boring exposition. Not only was the material horrendous, it could never decide what kind of story it wanted to tell, becoming more preposterous as the film went on. A wooden performance from Keanu Reeves was pretty much the last nail in the coffin. Not quite so bad that it’s good, it’s just bad.