Replicas - 2019
Director(s): Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Writer(s): Chad St. John (screenplay) / Stephen Hamel (story)
Cinematography by: Checco Varese
Editor(s): Jason Hellmann and Pedro Javier Muñiz
Cast: Alice Eve, Keanu Reeves, Emily Alyn Lind, Thomas Middleditch and John Ortiz
We have all been there, scrolling through the endless sea of movies on your streaming service looking for something to watch. It comes to the point that you are in the section where it is countless of unknown horror or sci-fi movies, with weird generic names and weirder posters. And every now and again in that poster, you recognize a famous actor, and you think to yourself, "Huh, he/she did that? Really.". Well in a very near future, Replicas will be in that sea, and Keanu will be in your thought. Let's talk about it.
The story follows Will Foster (Reeves), a scientist on the brink of transferring human consciousness into a robot. Unfortunately, he gets sidetracked when a tragic accident takes the lives of his family. Foster becomes obsessed with bringing his family back to life through the cloning process. After he succeeds, his boss comes knocking on the door to take them away from him, and he must fight once again to stay with his family. I had to summarize pretty much the entire film, for it to make sense, as it is two movies in one. We have the robot aspect, and the cloning aspect of the film and neither is explored to its fullest potential, making the third act wrap up seem silly and forced. The dialogue is bland, and generic making the actors come across wooden and inhuman. The way people react to tragic events, cloning miracles and technological marvels is the same way I react when my dog finally poops, and I get to go back to my apartment.
The script also has a lot of logical flaws, and plot holes that made for a far better film in my head. I was creating plausible scenarios as to why they never came up again, or how they were mysteriously resolved. Maybe there is a whole second film from the perspective of the two police officers that came once to the house, after Reeves stole ELEVEN car batteries without getting caught, in Puerto Rico. The movie would have ended quicker if it was indeed in Puerto Rico. My favorite logical flaw is how nobody looked for the family. Sure, texts and one visit, but nobody saw them once in seventeen days and didn't find it suspicious at all. Let us not forget about the van he crashed, and it is never talked about again.
I know it is not socially acceptable to criticize CGI in films. That one can't expect perfection up on the big screen with every movie. However, this does not apply to this Microsoft Paint creation. The robot in the third act was just so funny looking that I had to look around my surrounding to see if people were chuckling at it like me. The robot movements, the face, the voice and the way it interacted with its surroundings, was so bad it's good material. Tie that to the fact that Reeves screen time is mostly him wearing a visor and waving his hands in the air like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, only this time the CGI is worst despite the years of technological improvements.
Look, I could go on and on. I can do another paragraph with the acting and the lack of any semblance of chemistry between any of the characters, but I feel that the script let them down. I could talk about the weird camera angles chosen for conversations and the lousy use of negative space on the screen, but I feel the review will be long and repetitive. The bottom line is that the film is not good, and you should avoid it at all cost. Puerto Rico is why I love movies.
Replicas is a Dumpster Fire!
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