When a film opens cold (not screened to critics ahead of time) that’s never a good sign. It signifies that there was a point during the production of Replicas in which someone said, “this isn’t going to do well.” By that point, it was too late to go back or abandon ship, and the production pushed forward and was distributed to theaters.
Will Foster (Keanu Reeves) is a scientist on the cusp of transferring human consciousness by mapping the brain of the recently dead and inserting it into a synthetic brain. If the science of what I just said doesn’t make sense, don’t worry, there’s more! After a recently failed attempted transfer, Will and his family decide to take off for the weekend. On the rainy streets of Puerto Rico they get in an accident in which Will is the sole survivor.
Will quickly calls Ed (Thomas Middleditch), his assistant of sorts, to come to the scene so that they can get his family’s consciousness in hopes of cloning them. From there we get a series of moral debates, more scientific jargon that doesn’t make sense, and a scene in which Will grieves more over picking a name out of a bowl than when his family initially died.
This film is not even half baked, it hasn’t even been in the oven. Our connection to the characters in this film is as weak as Will’s to his family. We barely see them interact before the accident, and therefore his push to replicate feels as lifeless as Reeves acting in this film. Middleditch is the bright spot of the film as he offers up the moral questions to the premise that just didn’t transfer well to the big screen. However, his character continues to be complicit in the “nefarious” behavior as even he notes.
The best part of this movie was the minute of sleep that I got during the third act. I woke up refreshed, ready to take on the rest of the snoozer, and push through. I wouldn’t even watch this when it comes out on Netflix if I were you.