Replicas Movie Review
There are spoilers ahead
On January 11th the new sci-fi thriller, Replicas, starring Keanu Reeves opened in theaters.
The movie starts off showing William Foster (Keanu Reeves) as a neuroscientist deep in thought about his experiment simply called 345.
A voice on the loud-speaker announces the arrival of a donor specimen. A soldier killed seven-hours prior is wheeled into the lab William and Ed (Thomas Middleditch) a colleague rushes off.
Ed examines the brain to see if it’s deteriorated any via scanning electrodes. William agrees the brain is viable. Jones (John Ortiz) the president of Bionyne labs looks on.
A headpiece with a virtual MRI and extraction needle is place on the cadavers head and the needle shoots through the eye and into the brain. It removes memories, neurons, basically our personality and everything that makes us human out.
William places a virtual reality headpiece on and a virtual reality screen pops up where he writes an algorithm. The imprint succeeds but when the soldier sees his synthetic body of metal and tubes he goes ballistic and William kills him off by unplugging him.
Jones and William exchange words with Jones informing William get 345 to work or be fired and the program will be terminated.
William rushes home to his wife Mona (Alice Eve)and three children Sophie (Emily Alyn Lind),Matt (Emjay Anthony) and Zoe (Aria Lyric Leabu). It’s Thanksgiving weekend and they are going on a boating expedition using Ed’s boat the Cheatin Hussy. Ed is staying behind to house sit and feed Sophie’s fish.
It’s late at night and the family’s SUV is driving through a torrential rain. Mona wants William to stop until the rain subsides. At this moment a tractor-trailer nearly runs into them. William swerves and all are safe, for a few seconds anyway.
A tree falls in front of the SUV and William is unable to stop. A branch breaks off and slams through the windshield impaling Mona through the heart.
William is still trying to stop the out-of-control car. It crashes through the guard rails and over the embankment to the water below.
William is briefly knocked unconscious. When he awakes he finds his wife dead and his children have drowned in the trapped part of the SUV.
William carries them one by one on shore. He calls Ed and asks him to bring the extraction equipment. Ed agrees and is horrified by what he finds. William can’t be dissuaded. Not for fear of legal implications but he’s desperate to get his family back.
They go back to William’s house he begins the extraction while Ed steals an amniotic simulated fluid and three pods. William needs four pods if he’s going to resurrect his entire family. He now has to make a heartbreaking decision. He must choose between his children. He asks Ed to choose and he refuses.
With names in a bowl he draws his youngest Zoe name. He is seen crying over his choice since she is the one closest to her father.
Ed instructs William on cloning and is afraid they will come out deformed. He tells William if anything goes wrong he must terminate the experiment. He agrees. If the pods lose power or ph-level is wrong, it’s over. William doesn’t have a backup generator. He steals everyone on the block’s car battery to make sure those things will never happen. The entire cloning process will take 17 days.
William gathers Zoe’s quilt, stuffed animal and falls asleep on a cot in the basement. He awakes to his doorbell and loud banging. It’s the cops inquiring about the stolen batteries.
They are satisfied with his answers. At this point they leave and Ed calls William to say to get into the office because Jones is breathing down his neck. He’s to feign pneumonia.
William is stuck on perfecting 345. Lab technicians are driving him crazy. When he arrives home his son’s teacher is there. Ed lies and gets William off the hook. William forgot to inform his wife’s workplace as well as his kids schools and friends that they are unavailable. He gathers their phone and laptops to do damage control.
It’s been 17 days and the clones are ready. William still hasn’t been able to make 345 work and he needs the right algorithm if he wants his family back. The clones are perfect but are mentally an infant without 345. He puts them in comas until he can work out the kinks.
It’s at the moment his boss calls as William has given up and is about to terminate the experiment that he makes a breakthrough and can stop the imprinting rejection. It works but he must sedate his family again to hide the fact that they are replicas. Also to hide Zoe’s existence.
Although William is ecstatic he’s figured out the algorithm he realizes it’s an illusion and wishes his family were the original, not clones.
Mona is having pains in her chest while she remembers fragments of the accident and puzzled why she has no prior memories of other events. Sophie has nightmares and Matt is struggling with coordination.
William decides to “clone” himself into 345 to make the experiment pass with flying colors.
He hides in the men’s room and extracts a part of his memory imprint. First ever on a live subject.
Toward the end we find out the boss Jones ISN’T who he claims and wants an army of synthetic bodies to wage war. He wants to destroy the Foster family clones and the Fosters must run.
I won’t tell you if they are kidnapped or killed. If Zoe makes a comeback. I will say Reeves has a terminator-esque moment.
There is humor spread throughout. And action at the end. So far everyone who has seen says Reeves has knocked it out of the park.