Sunday, September 15, 2019

Movie Review: "Replicas" (2019)

Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Year: 2019
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes

A scientist working on transferring human consciousness tries to bring his family back to life through his experiments after they all die in a car crash.

Replicas 2019 movie still showing Keanu Reeves standing over the bodies of his dead family members while it pours rain
"If we make a mistake, I need to know that you're prepared to terminate." (Image Source)'s no "Johnny Mnemonic." "Replicas" is a sci-fi thriller from director Jeffery Nachmanoff. The story is written by Stephen Hamel with a screenplay by Chad St. John, who was responsible for such less-than-mediocre action flicks like "London Has Fallen" and "Peppermint." Could this movie be even worse than his previous efforts? Yes, yes, it could be. "Replicas" follows a scientist named William Foster (Keanu Reeves), who is working on transferring the human consciousness from dead people into artificial robo-bodies. Though he has figured out how to download the mind, uploading everything has been a problem. One night while driving during a massive storm, a car accident leaves his entire family dead. William, not willing to lose his wife and kids, decides to make his family members his latest experiment and tries to bring their consciousnesses back to life in new bodies. Get it? THE ARISTOCRATS!!...oops, we mean, THEY'RE REPLICAS!!!
Movie still for the 2019 science fiction drama film Replicas where Alice Eve and Thomas Middleditch are escorted out of Keanu Reeves's laboratory
"I couldn't save you all. THERE WEREN'T ENOUGH PODS!" (Image Source)
We've seen movies that deal with subjects like cloning and transferring human consciousness many times in the past. These films deal with the moral implications of such practices and whether or not there are any negative consequences to "playing God." They frequently explore philosophical questions about what makes a human being a bonafide person. "Replicas" doesn't do that stuff at all. If an issue like this gets brought up, it is left dangling with no answer because the script isn't smart enough to do anything else. It's the kind of movie that thinks it has grandiose ideas, but in reality, it's full of surface-level bloviating and posturing to make itself appear ~*extra profound.~* Most of the dilemmas that arise in the story are actually self-created inconveniences stemming from lies William has told, issues that get resolved after little to no conflict. Every other bit of strife comes from some form of contrived bullshit that pops up out of nowhere in the third act. We can only assume this was done to make the audience say, "Oh, wow, they got me!," but it's so poorly written and so sloppily assembled that a toddler could have guessed what was going on. It's not just the narrative in "Replicas" that's awful, it's everything, which means the blame lands solely on the director's head. Even the acting is downright horrible across the board, like, laughably inadequate. The worst offender is Alice Eve, who delivers her lines as if she were reading them directly from a cue card for the first time. It might be unfair to single her out since no one gives satisfactory performances, but if this were someone's first time seeing her act, well, that'd be a bad thing for her career. Thomas Middleditch acts like he is simultaneously on uppers and downers in each scene. As much as it pains us to say it since we love Keanu Reeves so, so much, and because we know he's having a (well-deserved) moment right now, he is just...not good here. Reeves is not known as an overly emphatic actor capable of subtlety (which is why he works so well as the stone-cold John Wick), but he's Daniel Day-freaking-Lewis compared to Alice Eve.
Keanue Reeves, hooked up to a machine next to a laptop in a bathroom stall, tries to bring his family back to life in a movie still for the 2019 film "Replicas"
This is how we imagine the screenplay for "Replicas" was written. (Image Source)
We can't believe "Replicas" actually got released in theaters. This is the kind of straight-to-video garbage that should star Dean Cain or Steven Segal, not Keanu Reeves. "Replicas" is easily one of the worst movies of 2019, but no matter how bad it was, we're definitely going to add "NOT ENOUGH PODS!!!" to our vernacular ASAP, so that's something....right?!

My Rating: 1.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 1.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.4/10
RT Rating: 9%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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