Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch, John Ortiz
Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Oh Keanu. You’re so much better than this. It looks like not even Keanu Reeves can escape the perils of January releases, as Replicas is exactly the type of thing I would expect to come out this time of year. The acting is laughable, the plot is convoluted and nonsensical, and even if the acting was good, the script gave these actors nothing to work with. I knew as soon as the opening scene showed us one of the worst CGI helicopters I’ve ever seen that we’d be in for a rough ride, and to the surprise of no one, Replicas kicks off the year with potentially one of the worst sci-fi movies of the year.
The film follows William Foster (Reeves), a scientist that is currently working on taking the minds of recently deceased people and transfer them into the bodies of robots so they may continue living with an artificial body. After repeated failed attempts and the tragic loss of his family in a car crash, William decides he will do whatever it takes to bring his family back with the work he has done with these robots. The main reason why this movie fails from a fundamental level is that it slowly becomes two very different movies with neither one being developed enough to be either entertaining or enjoyable. The storylines between William’s work and the death of his family and the fallout from his actions in the first half try to overlap with one another but end up just being a jumbled mess. This is especially apparent as the film tries to wrap up, as I found myself having no idea what was going on and why characters made certain decisions, and this isn’t done in a, “leave the viewer guessing,” type of way, but rather a, “none of this makes sense,” type of way. The absolute trashcan of a story is made worse by the fact that Keanu Reeves clearly doesn’t want to be in this movie. A sci-fi movie should be right up his alley based on his previous roles, but Reeves completely phones it in and takes dramatic pauses randomly during his dialogue which turns important moments into moments of comedy. Speaking of the dialogue, I have a very hard time believing an actually professional writer was in charge of this script. I swear on my life that right before William tries experimenting on the robot for the first time, he tells his assistant to, “energize the bunny.” I wish I was kidding. I don’t know if Energizer paid for that ridiculous line or if someone thought it was a legitimately good line, but it immediately shows us that this movie is going to be an absolute disaster to get through. When you combine all of these elements and you still end up with special effects that look significantly worse than I Robot, a film 15 years its senior, you single-handedly show us why January is known for having the worst movies of the year.
Overall, Reeves needs the next John Wick movie badly, because Replicas was an absolute dud in every sense of the word. There is an interesting concept somewhere buried in this movie, as the discussion about morality and resurrection can be interesting at times, but the film never develops upon this concept and just looks to confuse and shock for the sake of confusion and shock. Completely void of anything entertaining, inspiring, or original, Replicas is a must-skip, as there has to be something more valuable you can do with your time instead of watching a movie that should realistically never have gotten a theatrical release.
Overall Score: 2/10