Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch
Release Date: April 16, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
In this suspenseful sci-fi thriller, Keanu Reeves stars as William Foster, a neuroscientist on the verge of transferring human consciousness into a computer when his beloved wife (Alice Eve) and children are tragically killed in a car crash. Desperate to resurrect his family, William recruits a fellow scientist (Thomas Middleditch) to help secretly clone their bodies and create replicas. When William learns that he can only replicate three of the four family members, he makes a decision with fateful consequences.
‘Replicas’ tells the story of talented neuroscientist William Foster (Reeves) who along with his team is on the brink of a groundbreaking new step in the world of science, the ability to transfer a human brain and consciousness into an artificial being. But when a terrible tragedy occurs that claims the lives of his entire family, William finds himself desperate for any means to bring them back, and with the help of his friend and co-worker (Middleditch) who has the knowledge and capability of potentially growing human clones, the duo make a desperate attempt to bring the majority of his family back from the dead, although the uncertain process and the family member he can’t resurrect due to their limited resources could lead to potentially troubling consequences.
Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor) from a screenplay by Chad St. John (Peppermint) which was based upon a story by Stephen Hamel respectively, Nachmanoff does a pretty solid job at the helm of ‘Replicas’ guiding along the film with an appropriately gloomy style. The film also owes a great deal of credit to the generally capable cast which includes Keanu Reeves (John Wick), Alice Eve (Star Trek Into Darkness), Thomas Middleditch (TV’s Silicon Valley), John Ortiz (Bumblebee) and more who each provide quite competent performances at the very least and along with the guidance of Nachmanoff help tremendously to balance this one out and at least make it into something decent.
‘Replicas’ is a decent science fiction tale in many ways that takes viewers on a dark and gloomy ride into desperation and uncertainty along with its lead, never hesitant to dive into some painful and occasionally quite brutal themes. Yet at the same time it too frequently finds itself struggling to put logical rhyme and reason into its course of events and goofy plot twists which results in some massive plot holes and a bit of hesitation on the viewer’s part once things often don’t add up quite like they should. Seeming to prefer taking over the top twists and turns to try and find a place for some violence and tension, even while many of these choices only send it curtailing into absurdity. The film only manages to stay above water courtesy of its capable cast and director, both elements that certainly help to make this one far more tolerable and decent than it likely would have been otherwise. While I wouldn’t necessarily urge folks to go out of their way to check out ‘Replicas’, that doesn’t mean that many of you won’t enjoy it quite a bit and appreciate it to some degree. For diehard fans of Keanu Reeves and those who don’t mind a sci-fi flick with its share of problems it’s probably worth giving a whirl, especially if you happen to come across it on your favorite premium channel or streaming service and have a couple hours to kill.
Overall, ‘Replicas’ is a mixed bag of a sci-fi flick that has potential and a decent enough storyline going in, while never being afraid to take things to some unpleasant places. Although it also suffers from its ability to competently tie it all together; too frequently opting for spectacle over logic or originality and somewhat losing itself as a result. Dedicated fans of Keanu Reeves and those that have already been looking forward to ‘Replicas’ will probably want to give it a chance whenever possible and make up your own mind on the film. Yet for those who may be on the fence or never found themselves overly intrigued by it to begin with will likely want to go ahead and skip it. It’s by no means a terrible film overall and has its share of positive elements going for it, but it certainly has its share of issues too, so try to go in with limited expectations if possible.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Replicas’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks great as a whole and offers a sharp, clean and detailed presentation with no noticeable issues to be found throughout. It holds up perfectly even during the numerous darkly lit moments, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that looks consistently great throughout and definitely shouldn’t disappoint.
The Blu-ray release features a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack provides a clean, smooth and at times fairly aggressive audio presentation throughout. It consistently takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send weather elements, nature effects, subtle background noise and even a few action tidbits throughout the various speakers whenever appropriate, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a pretty fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that nicely compliments the onscreen activity and delivers competently from start to finish.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Replicas’ includes a few notable extras. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Jeffrey Nachmanoff and Producer James Dodson’, in addition to a couple ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 8 minutes in length together), along with a Behind the Scenes Featurette ‘Imprint Complete: The Making of Replicas’ (running approximately 26 minutes) which includes behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with members of the cast and crew, plus more.