Replicas (2018)

Replicas
Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Writer: Chad St. John, Stephen Hamel
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch, John Ortiz, Emjay Anthony, Emily Alyn Lind, Aria Lyric Leabu
Seen on: 2.1.2021

Plot:
William (Keanu Reeves) works with his colleague Ed (Thomas Middleditch) on trying to transfer a human consciousness into a robot. But his research has hit a snag, so a break with his family – wife Mona (Alice Eve) and children Matt (Emjay Anthony), Sophie (Emily Alyn Lind) and Zoe (Aria Lyric Leabu) – seems like a great idea. Only on his way to their trip, they get in an accident and William is the only survivor. In his desperation, he calls on Ed and they devise a plan how they could bring them back.

Replicas is okay. Nothing we haven’t seen before, but entertaining enough if you’re able to overlook that William’s plan is so full of holes it makes you wonder whether he ever took a step in the world outside of his house.

The film poster showing William (Keanu Reeves) twice, once with digital / technical elements in his face.

For some reason, I thought that replicas was somewhere between 10 and 15 years old. I don’t know why I thought it was a ca. 2007 movie, but it was in my head. And there was nothing in the film that made me think otherwise – except for the fact that one of William’s children uses the word bae and I thought that it wasn’t really used in 2007 (at least not in a mainstream kind of way) which struck me as weird. I mention this because it shows two things: one, Keanu Reeves really doesn’t age at all. And two, how very much been there, done that the film feels. Though I’m pretty sure that if the film had come out in 2007, it would have felt like that as well, so it isn’t just a question of thos 10 years I thought it was older.

[SPOILERS from here on.]

In any case, the story may not be revolutionary (always a bit of a drawback when we’re talking about a SciFi movie) but it works for the most part. If you ignore William’s idea that, since he can’t clone four people, but only three, he decides to just delete the memories of his youngest daughter in the heads of his wife and his other two children (he draws lots who gets to live. Only Mona is a sure start because William apparently can’t see a future as a single dad). As if those are the only people who knew about the girl. What did he think would happen as soon as the daughter’s school called? If a co-worker asked about the third kid William or Mona were talking about? It is such an incredibly short-sighted plan, I don’t know how William could become a top scientist with planning skills like that.

William (Keanu Reeves) using a graphic interface for his work.

And that is, of course, leaving aside the idea that it would be possible to just delete memories like that, as if the people we love didn’t leave any other traces in us. But okay, in the movieverse that is possible and even if it is visualized in the most ridiculous of ways, I can accept that. But there was just generally a little too much handwaving to make the plot work than the film could actually handle.

Other than that, it is a decently made film that is pretty watchable, if you don’t pay too much attention to it – like the filmmakers appear to have done, too.

William (Keanu Reeves) talking to his wife Mona (Alice Eve).

Summarizing: Okay.

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