The point of sci-fi films is that they not only stretch the audience’s imagination but also that they are based on actual science. So, when a sci-fi film like Replicas is filled with logical, as well as scientific, holes then is it really a sci-fi film or just gibberish?
Replicas follows scientist William Foster (Keanu Reeves) as he tries to transfer the consciousness and mind of a recently deceased soldier into a robot body. After several failed attempts and with the powerful company he works for threatening to pull the plug on his project, Foster takes his family for a relaxing weekend on his friend and co-worker Ed’s (Thomas Middleditch) boat. However, on the way, the family gets into a terrible car accident where all three of Foster’s kids, as well as his wife (Alice Eve), pass away. Instead of calling the police, Foster calls Ed in an attempt to use the technology from his work to create replicas of his family. Will it work and if so at what cost?
Yup, Frankenstein with some changes.
The plot’s main themes give it potential, but the core issue is there is no main concept; it’s as if the film itself has no idea what it is about. At some point, the film focuses on the experiments, the ethicality of it all, and questions about the human soul. Replicas then quickly shifts to Foster trying to save his family with a technology that has very little to do with the experiments he was just conducting. Then the film hints at some focus on what it would be like to live with a cloned family, and how they would feel, but that thought is never addressed again. Finally, the film shifts into Minority Report mode and has Foster running from the evil agents of the company he works for because they claim his family are company property and want to kill them.
What does Replicas want? What is it about?
It is okay for a movie to be complex and is definitely great if a film is about more than one thing, but come on. This is just a mess made up of flawed premises and unfinished thoughts without a single clear focus.
Even if you put all that aside, Replicas has major logical holes that anyone who failed middle school science can catch on to, especially at the end scene which contradicts everything Foster has assured the audience is impossible, just to have a happy ending.
For the acting, Keanu Reeves is able to show off some of his acting talents in the grief scenes, but other than that is just him spitting out either awful dialogue or scientific jargon. Alice Eve is even more restricted by the script and therefore delivers an unrealistic performance. The only standout is Thomas Middleditch who gave his character more dimension than most.
Replicas could have been cool if it stuck to one path and really focused on making it good. Instead, it is a movie you will probably see for Keanu Reeves and will soon forget.