No segue. Didn’t even know this movie existed until I started looking up movies for the following week. Never got a trailer or anything. Hell, even right now, I’ve not actually watched the trailer that I posted (I’m at work and forgot my earbuds at home). As a result of this, I can’t even speculate what the movie is about. Maybe it’s about a human-robot spying on people and learning how to be human? I’m taking random-ass shots in the dark based on nothing more than the many posters that I’ve seen on impawards.com. I’m likely completely off.
Ech, I ruined it for myself. I just read the synopsis on IMDb. “A scientist becomes obsessed with bringing back his family members who died in a traffic accident.” Lame. I was, indeed, way off.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have Keanu Reeves (DESTINATION WEDDING , JOHN WICK  and 2 , NEON DEMON , and upcoming films JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3  and TOY STORY 4 ) and Alice Eve (CRIMINAL , MEN IN BLACK 3 , and upcoming films PELLEAS  and WARNING ).
In support, we have Emily Alyn Lind (LIGHTS OUT , and the upcoming DOCTOR SLEEP ), Thomas Middleditch (TAG , CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS , THE BRONZE , and the upcoming GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS ), John Ortiz (BUMBLEBEE , KONG , FINEST HOURS , and the upcoming AD ASTRA ), and Emjay Anthony (BAD MOMS  and 2 ).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have Jeffrey Nachmanoff, known for stuff that I’ve either never seen or heard of. Penning the screenplay is Chad St. John, known for PEPPERMINT (2018) and LONDON HAS FALLEN (2016). Co-composing the score are Mark Kilian (EYE IN THE SKY , PITCH PERFECT , and the upcoming OFFICIAL SECRETS ) and Jose Ojeda (stuff that I’ve either never seen or heard of). The cinematographer is Checco Varese, known for MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN (2016), and the upcoming IT: CHAPTER 2 (2019). Finally, co-editors are Jason Hellmann (DEJA VU , and the upcoming ELI ) and Pedro Javier Muñiz (stuff that I’ve either never seen or heard of, and the upcoming TRAIL OF ASHES ).
Overall, I couldn’t say whether or not I’m excited for this or not. I like Reeves, and if she were in better movies, I would like to like Alice Eve. Beyond that… yeah, I know nothing about this movie, I can’t speak about it. This’ll be interesting. Completely blind.
This is my honest opinion of: REPLICAS
Set in Puerto Rico, circa the future. Dr. William Foster (Keanu Reeves) works for the prestigious BioNyne biological medical company working on the experimental technology of technologically extracting memories of a dead person and implanting them into a cybernetic body. However, the procedures have all ended in failure, costing benefactors to doubt the tech without results. However, after attempting to go on vacation with his wife Mona (Alice Eve), and his three children, eldest daughter Sophie (Emily Alyn Lind), only son Matt (Emjay Anthony), and youngest daughter Zoe (Aria Lyric Leabu), they get into a car accident and only William is left alive. Enlisting the help of his closest colleague, Ed (Thomas Middleditch), they begin a very illegal and difficult process of cloning his family, despite the many risks should the procedure miraculously work, but they only have the means to bring back three members of his dead family.
Ho, damn, do we have one doozy of a film for everyone here. Oh no, this movie is not good, but is it really as bad as everyone is making it out to be? I mean, really. Let’s really think about it? Is it… really… that… ba- yes, yes it is that bad. But you know something? I don’t hate it. I don’t think it’s even going to make my Bottom 10 list of this year, mostly because there are moments that genuinely entertained me.
Okay, so first off, this movie is unbelievably confused as to what it wants to be. Is this a movie about transferring the memories of a dead person into a robot, or is this a movie about cloning? It’s about both, but neither has anything to do with the other. So you might be inclined to think that this movie is about whether or not it’s morally sound to clone people. Well, the truth is, that’s what this movie thinks it’s about. What’s morally questionable is William. Oh yes, if you read my summary, that final sentence may have made you go, “Well, obviously the mom stays dead and his children are brought back because… that’s what all parents would want if these situations were to ever happen.” Heh heh… well, let me tell you what happens. He doesn’t do that. Nope, he writes their names down on pieces of paper, puts them in a bowl, plays a lottery game, and his youngest child is shafted.
… … …
Now I know you read that sentence. You read it, and I used words. English words that you did, in fact, recognize. It’s a (mostly) grammatically correct English sentence. But when you read that sentence, something about it entered your ears, went into your mind, but something about that sentence didn’t sound right. You might be thinking to yourself that you somehow misunderstood the sentence. So in order to eliminate the possibility of that level of doubt, I’m going to repeat that sentence.
William… by writing their names down… on pieces of paper… and puts them in a bowl… a “lottery game” if you will… and thereby choosing three of his family members to live… and which one will stay dead… which could very well mean one of his children…
Now that you’ve read that twice… you wanna guess what happens. OF F**KING COURSE YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENS!!! ONE OF HIS KIDS GETS SHAFTED!!! Specifically, his youngest daughter, Zoe. So that’s pretty atrocious, right? It can’t possibly get any wor- he wipes all of their memories of Zoe. Uh huh, William decides that he’s going to cover his ass by erasing all possible memories of Zoe and literally pretend that she never existed. Throwing out family photos, toys, drawings, everything.
So as you’ve probably guessed, our main protagonist is not the most likable fellow ever put up on the big screen. He’s a grade-A dick slice. What makes this more heartbreaking is that I really like Keanu Reeves, both as a man and an actor. But he is just awful in this movie, but I don’t know if I mean that in an especially negative way. I say this because for every time the dude is unlikable and despicable, he’s equally and unintentionally hilarious. His kids’ school principal comes to pay them a visit and Reeves hams it the hell up. He’s got this fake-ass wide smile, his tone clearly sounding like he’s trying to be friendly, and leaves the shot in a hurry with that same goofy smile like a cartoon. In every scene where he’s supposed to be hiding something from someone, he puts on that same “I’m obviously hiding something” tone that you would find in a performance out of a middle school play. It’s just so bad… that I sort of enjoyed it. Of course, I never want Reeves to be a bad actor and that this is going to fuel his haters only going to make defending him all the more frustrating, but I can’t help that his acting occasionally made me giggle. No, it’s not consistent, but it’s there. No one else really fares any better. As soon as Mona is cloned, Eve suddenly puts on a creepy robotic performance. This makes no sense as she’s not a robot. Also, her acting isn’t this bizarre in the rest of the film. Pre-death, she was… well, acting, but not badly. Even after she starts figuring things out, she goes right back to normal behavior. So what was up with the stilted non-acting? Even the kids didn’t act this way.
Speaking of giggles, there are a staggering amount of unintentionally funny moments. As with most sci-fi movies, there’s holograms that can be touched and moved around. However, where most movies do this kind of well and looks like they’re actually moving things with a purpose, Reeves just looks like he’s flailing his hands and arms around for no reason. One of the easiest jokes I made was when Reeves says the line, “Energize the body,” when transferring a dead dude’s mind into a robot. Then I thought to myself, “Why? So he could keep going and going and going?” Eh? Eh?! See what I did there? I’m funny. Laugh, damn it! And as for the death of his family, this movie threw so much at them. First was the brights of a truck, nothing happens. Riveting. But then a tree falls over and impales Mona. Then William drives off of the road and drives right into a deep lake where the children die next. Jesus, all that was missing was a lightning strike while they were in the lake.
Of course, never mind the terrible script and bad acting, though that’s certainly enough to turn anyone away, the movie is already a strong contender for having the worst CGI this year. I’ve seen video games from the original Xbox that looked more convincing than the shit we see here. Seriously, there’s a robot that starts attacking people, I’d swear the effects were closer to the old school REBOOT cartoon, but even less convincing. It’s embarrassing.
<<<SPOILERS>>> [ There’s so many problems that William causes that… well, shouldn’t have even started, but could have been resolved by simply explaining the situation. Okay, no, that wouldn’t have solved anything because the twat literally chose his youngest daughter to be his least favorite child to stay dead and spares the only female in the family that he can bonk. But hiding the truth barely mattered as the movie finds some pretty contrived ways to make the truth come out. For no reason, Mona feels the branch that killed her and she randomly remembers photos that should have been erased from her memory. It makes no sense. And to make everything worse, there’s no repercussions for William’s actions when everything comes out into the open. Unless you count half-assed “angry” as a repercussion. Which I don’t. Oh, and the best part of all of this? Zoe comes back! Yup, one of the closing shots of the movie is a replicant Zoe, all while shot on a sunny beach with everyone sickeningly happy. There is no explanation as to how or when Zoe came back, but she f**king did. ] <<<END SPOILERS>>>
Overall, yeah, this movie is bad. Really, really… really bad. So when the year wraps up, I won’t be surprised to see it on any worst lists. It’ll be well-deserved. But for my tastes, some of the choices here were so bad that I couldn’t help but have a ball experiencing. From Reeves’ occasional cartoon acting, the laughs I got from trying explain William’s terrible decisions, it’s not devoid of unintentional entertainment. But, yes, William is a terrible father and general character, the themes are confused, the story is beyond lame and brain-dead, among a plethora of other problems. If you hated this flick, I don’t blame you. But as for me, meh, I had enough of a good time to walk away with something in my hands. As a recommendation, eh, I’ll speak with the majority and say to give it a pass. If you’ve got a similar sense of humor as mine, then maybe give it a rent, but that’s ONLY if your sense of humor lines up with mine. I wager I’m one of the nicer reviews for the flick.
My honest rating for REPLICAS: 3/5
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