“Replicas” review: If you want more Keanu Reeves, wait till “John Wick 3”

David Eckstein

The movie season of 2019 started off with “Replicas,” a film that, despite having an intriguing premise, could not avoid the fall into old and tired science fiction tropes.

Courtesy of Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

The film centers on Keanu Reeves, who plays a scientist on the brink of a major breakthrough–transferring the human mind into synthetic bodies. He takes time off to go on vacation when tragedy strikes and his family dies in a car accident, leaving him the sole survivor. Despairing over the death of his family, he breaks many laws–both of man and of nature–by cloning them and bringing them back as replicas. With this premise, the title is clear and the story was promising. The story plays out with the scientist trying everything to maintain his family, while also keeping the eyes of his evil employer off his back. Have you seen all these elements before? Probably. Were they in better movies? Yes.

Okay, before I cover all the things that don’t work in this film, I want to get out what I thought stood out. Not surprisingly, I thought Reeves played his role as well as he could. I can understand why he picked this film as I can imagine him reading the script and thinking this will be cool. It’s been done before, but I can see the new setting for the old story of science messing with nature and I believe in the man doing whatever he must to save his loved ones.

With that said, for anything that even remotely resembles a positive in this film, there are an exponentially greater number of things wrong with it. Even if you have the time to pick apart the plot holes that are just glaring at you, this film feels like the definition of tired and overused. You have the scientist and his life’s work, the happy family suffering a tragedy, even an evil corporation you’ve seen in so many other movies. That would be ok, if it were done well. But from the stereotypical characters to the poor dialogue, I could not get into this world.  At less than two hours, the movie felt at least four hours long. I don’t think I’ve ever checked my watch in a movie more times than this one.

I don’t know what to say. It’s just your normal average everyday poor film. Is it going to be the worst film of this year? Probably not. Will it affect Keanu Reeves career? Definitely not. But I can see this film disappearing from our memory very quickly. I’m just glad there are better films on the horizon, because the previews were the best part of the movie.

Rating: 1 out of 5 sails

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