Replicas Review - Intriguing Storyline, Advanced Science Sells This Sleeper

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Replicas, from Di Bonaventura Pictures and Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, brings to the screen the collision of science verses humanity when the cruelty of life delivers an incapacitating blow forcing the ultimate decision between life and death.

Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Replicas stars Keanu Reeves, Alice Eves, Emily Alyn Lind, Emjay Anthony, Thomas Middleditch, John Ortiz, Aria Lyric Leabu, Amber Riviera and Jeffrey Holsman. 

The film opens in the jungles of Puerto Rico, where a cutting edge science lab has been developed. The premiere scholar in the field of synthetic brain transference, Will Foster, played by Keanu Reeves, is waiting for a donor.


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With a viable transplant subject in route Foster and his team, Ed, played by Thomas Middleditch, and several lab techs prep the robotic recipient for transfer. The subject, a solider who died in battle less than seven hours before, is determined to be a perfect donor.

The transplant of one functioning brain to the computer systems encased in the skull of a moving robot has been realized although not successful to the point of having intelligent manifestations. Test subject 345 is essentially the end of the road for Foster and his team. The entire program is riding on this test.

As the soldiers data is removed via ocular retrieval, the data, including all experiences, all memories, all injuries including the one that killed him, is harvested. It is them transplanted to 345.

While the data is transferred Foster wears a 3D visor that allows him to utilize an advanced scientific program with algorithms on an in-air tablet, that moves screen to screen with a tap touch and in the air swiping, that enhances the brain, while the neurological center transfers.


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The harvest and transfer are completed. The mechanical robot begins to talk, unable to process what has happened to him, as his memories are that of the solider killed in battle. He begins to essentially have a meltdown.

The testing in the eyes of the Will Foster is clearly a success, to those who fund the program, not so. The glitches in 345 have to be repaired, he is told by, Jones, played by John Ortiz, or the program is done.

With the family waiting, Will decides to call Friday the weekend and head down the coast with his family, his wife Mona, played by Alice Eve, and three children Sophie, played by Emily Alyn Lind, Matt, played by Emjay Anthony, and Zoe, played by Aria Lyric Leabu.

A sudden rainstorm makes the visibility near zero, and Mona explains they should pull over and wait it out, not a second later lighting strikes a tree which falls across the road, a single branch pierces the windshield striking Mona. Trying to avoid the downed tree and help his wife, Will swerves over an embankment, striking a sign, plunging into a river.

Obviously this is where Replicas moves into the Second Act. The film held my attention throughout the film, and with a few glitches it remained entertaining. Personally, I found aspects of the film intensely interesting.


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The acting in Act One, I felt Mr. Reeves missed a few of the notes and shading that would bring a more colorful personality to the scientist. And many in the science and medical field may laugh as they have probably pronounced the same description on their colleagues. It may be spot on and for me, it feels bland.        

His assistant, Ed, played by Thomas Middleditch, plays the neurotic to Foster’s straight, analytical, methodical, decision making left brain, personality.

Replicas also showcases technological advances, which were fascinating to watch. Not space age Star Trek stuff, but actual programs that may by active in some lab somewhere. The open air tablet viewable by 3-D glasses advances educational opportunities as Professors could use this technology in a classroom setting.

The advancement of the robotic “human,” a skeletal version which has been used for some time in films, with moveable parts. The advancements in each of these areas are showcased and impressive.


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Replicas is divided into Three Acts, the final act brings together the entire film and includes scenes that return to audience to the invetsment in the characters with human interaction, emotions, empathy.

There are many great moments, and strong writing throughout, as secrets are challenged, the boundaries between friendship and scientific fame are blurred, and the questions surrounding the finality of death, if the power to change it belonged to the individual.

The film has some glitches, in my opinion, and still it is a safe bet in a very slow box office. Replicas is scientifically impressive with smart writing, some unexplainable humor, (could just be my personality) and a genuine story.

Replicas opens January 11, 2019. See it.