Reeves probes in Sci-fi ‘Replicas’

Written By Jared Murphy, Staff Photographer

How far would you go to bring back your loved ones? “Replicas” (2019) is a science fiction/thriller released by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures.  The movies follows William Foster (Keanu Reeves) who is a doctor working on the ‘345 Project’ at a bio medical company, Bionyne. The basis of this project is to take the mind of a human and implant it into a synthetic body. More or less Foster is working on a project attempting to clone the human brain and put it into a robotic body.

Early on in the movie we are shown one of Foster’s failed attempts. The team tried to implant the mind of a sargent into a synthetic body. Shortly after the transplant, the Sargent starts panicking and shouting “Who am I” over and over. Things take a turn for the worse seconds later when the sargent goes ballistic, destroying himself and tries to attack the team members. They pull the plug, but Foster thinks they are on the edge of a break through.

After some background of the project and what Foster is working on, his family decides to go on a vacation. While on route, the family gets stuck driving through a storm, and this leads to Foster swerving the car off the road into a river.

Foster is the lone survivor, and pulls his wife Mona (Alice Eve) and three children, Matt (Emjay Anthony), Sophie (Emily Alyn Lind) and Zoe (Aria Leabu) from the wreck. Not being able to cope with the loss, Foster calls his co-worker Edward Whittle (Thomas Middleditch) to bring equipment from the laboratory to Foster’s house.

Desperate after losing his family, Foster convinces Whittle to help him clone his family and bring them back. Other than the scientific and ethical problems with doing this, Foster is faced with a strenuous decision. Whittle was only able to get three cloning pods from the laboratory, so Foster has to decide which of his family members he isn’t going to bring back.

Foster makes his decision by pulling names out of a bowl. He draws his daughter’s name, Zoe.  He then erases all memories of Zoe from his families’ minds, takes down all her pictures in the house and even scrubs off Zoe’s drawing on the kitchen table.

Seventeen days past, and Foster’s family is ready to come out of their cloning pods.  He places them in their beds, so when they wake up they think everything is normal. His family slowly starts to hint at that they are remembering Zoe. Soon after, his wife starts asking questions because she cannot remember what happened a few days ago. Foster is forced to tell his family that they are clones. Honestly, they take it really well.

I think I can speak for most people that if I found out I was a clone there would be more than a few questions, and I might have an existential crisis. Shortly after the family finds out they are clones Foster’s boss, Jones( John Ortiz),  shows up at their house. Jones knows what Foster has been doing and thinks the clones are property of Bionyne and attempts to take them away.

After some standard chase scenes, and the Foster family avoiding Bionyne and their goons, Bionyne captures Foster’s family and takes them to back their laboratories.

Earlier in the movie, when project 345 is on the verge of being shut down, Foster does the implant of his own mind. Later on in the film when Foster goes to the laboratory to save his family, his mind is in a robotic body and the human Foster and robot Foster join together to save the cloned family.

“Replicas” had potential to be a great modern day science fiction movie. An interesting idea that is believable enough to happen, this movie fell short in places. It fits the mold of almost every mundane sci-fi movie of the past two decades and didn’t stray from this path.

Replicas had a $30 million budget that I can assume from watching the movie, mostly went to special effects. For science fiction fans the premise of the movie is intriguing and still worth a watch, but the average viewer might want to think twice before sitting down to watch this movie.