Review: Replicas

4 10

PLOT: After his wife and children are killed in a car accident, a scientist desperately searches for a way to bring them back to life. Once he finds a scientific breakthrough in cloning, he discovers that he is on a very dark path that may not end well. It’s a whole lot funnier than it sounds.

REVIEW: Ever since Mary Shelley created Frankenstein’s monster, audiences have always had a fascination with bringing the dead to life. It also helps that this story lends itself well to science fiction and horror. And sometimes, it can be an exciting way to deal with our own fears of mortality. However, it can also be a ridiculous and occasionally laughable example of doing sci-fi that is far more humorous than thrilling. REPLICAS, the new feature starring Keanu Reeves, falls closer to the latter. This modern story of a scientist attempting to bring his family back to life after a tragic accident is a ridiculously goofy flick that, while not necessarily exciting, may bring a smile or two thanks to just how preposterous it all gets.

Keanu Reeves is Will Foster, a scientist who is trying to prefect the idea of cloning a human being’s brain into a functioning robot. He and his partner Ed (Thomas Middleditch) are pressured by his boss (John Ortiz) to get results, yet something isn’t quite connecting. Will comes closer to discovering the missing link after a tragic car accident kills his wife (Alice Eve) and three children. Instead of moving on, he decides to clone his family and bring them back from the dead. When the experiment works, he comes to the realization that his creation may lead to more trouble than he could ever imagine.

replicas keanu reeves science fiction horror thriller alice eve jeffrey machnanoff joblo.com 2019There are a number of issues with REPLICAS that make this the perfect movie to open in the month of January. Frankly, as a fan of this type of story, I appreciated the ideas behind this modern take on a Frankenstein type flick - with a few morally questionable actions.  Unfortunately, the promise of this story tends to fall into camp more often than it should. One plot point finds our hero not able to save his entire family. For something that should be dark and unsettling, the reason for it ends up being laugh out loud funny in the way it is revealed. And aside from the initial premise, the film really never goes anywhere and it's ultimately forgettable.

As far as the effects are concerned, it is clear that the budget was very limited in that aspect. The early images of a robot having social anxiety are just terrible and not even close to scary or intense. While they don’t go overboard with the CGI, it isn’t great when it is used. Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff does manage to offer a few effective moments, but not nearly enough to rise above the script by Chad St. John. The situation is beyond farfetched, and the entire plot device reminding audiences that they only have three pods is perhaps one of the funniest things you’ll see in theatres all year. Perhaps in the right directorial hands, this script could embraced its ridiculousness a bit more openly.

replicas keanu reeves alice eve joblo.com horror science fiction john ortizKeanu Reeves is a charismatic guy. While he may not always deliver when it comes to some of his features, his genuine commitment to the project is there. And yes, he commits to the insanity on display here. As for Alice Eve, the actress is probably the most sympathetic and engaging character in the film. If they perhaps had a tighter script and a bit more money, this could have been a far more satisfying experience. Sadly, this is a messy story that is missing a solid structure, while only really creating an unexpectedly riotous series of events. It seems the term, “so bad it’s good” may be apropos.

If you are hoping for a great science fiction story with elements of Frankenstein, well you at least have a bit of inspiration from Ms. Shelley in here. Unfortunately, REPLICAS cannot quite rise above a scatterbrained script and generic direction. Both Reeves and Eve try as hard as they can to rise above the material, and it is nice to see Thomas Middleditch doing something a little different. Perhaps if you are in the mood for a good laugh and want to see something that straddles the line between idiotic and hilarious, you may enjoy this. Either way, let’s just hope that this new feature won’t attempt to clone itself a sequel.

Source: JoBlo.com



Latest Entertainment News Headlines