Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
MOVIE REVIEW

Replicas

also known as “Réplicas,” “Tobulos kopijos”
MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for thematic material, violence, disturbing images, some nudity and sexual references.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Adults • Young-Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Crime Mystery Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release:
2019
USA Release:
January 11, 2019 (wide—2,329 theaters)
Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

The pain of losing dear loved ones

Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD—Why are there bad things in our world? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer


FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

About hope

About despair, fear and hope


The wife of the main scientist in this film is named Eve. Who is EVE in the Bible? Answer

Cloning: Right or wrong? Answer

Sci-fi artificial resurrection

A human being is more than chemistry, there is a mind and an eternal soul (eternal life and eternal death)

What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures
Featuring: Keanu ReevesWill Foster
Alice EveMona
Emily Alyn Lind … Sophie
Thomas MiddleditchEd
John OrtizJones
Emjay Anthony … Matt Foster
Amber Townsend … Lab Tech
Nyasha Hatendi … Scott
Aria Lyric Leabu … Zoe Foster
Amber Rivera … Margaret
Sunshine Logroño … Hector
Jeffrey Holsman … Blue Eyes
Evelyn Dean-Olmsted … Lab Tech
Omar Cruz Soto … Lab Techs
Jean Pierre Prats … Lab Tech
Iván J. Torres Lasanta … Biotech scientist: Bionine Lab
Director: Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Producer: Company Films
Di Bonaventura Pictures
See all »
Distributor: Entertainment Studios
Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

Will Foster (Keanu Reeves) has been hard at work for quite some time at Bionine Laboratories, trying to perfect the art of transfusing the human consciousness of a recently deceased subject into that of an artificial intelligence (in essence, the experiment would allow people, who have just recently passed away, a second chance at life). Some might find this controversial, but in Will’s mind he is giving people hope by, essentially, defying death.

Time after time, he has been unsuccessful in the transfusion to an artificial intelligence, including a recent attempt with a deceased soldier. Will is given notice that unless the experiment produces results, and quickly, his department at Bionine will be shut down indefinitely.

Fast forward to a weekend where Will and his family (his wife Mona and his children: Zoe, Sophie and Matt) are planning a nice trip. While en route, something tragic occurs, an accident which claims the lives of Will’s entire family, with Will being the sole survivor. “It’s too soon to say goodbye to them,” Will thinks to himself.

And so, after calling his assistant/best friend Ed (Thomas Middleditch), Will asks him to transport his family’s bodies to the lab. Will is going to attempt to transfer each of their consciousnesses. But into what, exactly? The robots have proven unsuccessful. Ah, perhaps clones, he and Ed think. We need to create clones first!

At 14 days past, the clones are formed (after Will having spent night and day monitoring the process), and Will is able to transfer their consciousness’ into the clones. But people are bound to ask questions, including his boss Jonas, as to his whereabouts and the whereabouts of his family (as Ed points out to Will, “Didn’t you think people were going to wonder if your kids suddenly didn’t show up for school for two weeks without a reason?”).

So the question remains: How long will Will be able to keep up the charade of hiding the clones’ true identities (clones who look like his family), before Bionine swoops in? And the ultimate questions remain: “Is a life more than just a body’s chemistry and composite construction? Can one truly replace a human-being?”

I can summarize my overall thoughts on “Replicas” in one sentence: This movie isn’t very good. “Replicas” tries to be many things: a discussion of the purpose of life, a scientific/moral debate on the justification of cloning (animals, human beings and the like), a drama and an action film. It tries to be so much in so short a time (a little over an hour and a half), that the film never quite falls into any category well, other than science fiction. As one other critic has stated, it is a mash up of almost every movie genre you can think of, and frankly, that’s not a good thing.

It also doesn’t help that, despite some unique use of effects, the performances, including that of Keanu Reeves (who I’ve always been a fan of), feels lackluster. For example, when Will cries over his family, I just didn’t believe him. It seemed forced. Additionally, there is a LARGE amount of violence, partial nudity and language to contend with.

Content for Concern

Violence: There is a transfusion of a consciousness from a dead solider into a robot, followed by the soldier, trying to determine why he is now a robot. He panics—tearing at his parts, while also attacking and throwing a few individuals to the ground (unintentionally). There is a graphic, but brief, car accident in which a tree limb goes right through a woman, followed by the drowning deaths of children. We witness a man being beaten until he is unconscious. A character is killed off screen, and we witness the body afterward, briefly. Clones are shocked with defibrillators. Another character is killed. In order to transfer consciousness to a machine (and even into the clones), a large needle goes through an eye and sucks the consciousness from the deceased body before transfusing it into the new host (we see this performed on a couple of deceased people). We also witness a character, alive, attempting to transfuse his consciousness into a new host, and we watch as a needle goes right through his eye while he is awake.

Vulgarity/Profanity: “Jesus Christ,” “Jesus” (2), “G*d-d*mn,” “G*d” (5), “d*mn” (3), “Holy sh*t,” and “H*ll” (6). Vulgarity language includes: “Royally and utterly boned,” “bonged,” s-words (19), “frickin,” “p*ss me off,” “You b*stard,” and “s*cking.”

Sex/Sexual Dialog/Nudity: As the clones are being created we witness the Eve clone naked inside the tube (we see her side breast and thighs). When she is taken out of the tube, we see her backside and part of her buttocks. A boy messages a girl suggesting she come over to his house overnight, because his parents are gone. She is shown wearing a somewhat revealing bathing suit. The phrase “make love” is used. A boat is named the “Shameless Hussy.” Other female characters wear somewhat revealing attire. Someone mentions another male’s “droopy-old man sack” (a man’s genitals).

Other: People are injected with sedatives. There are a couple moments involving alcohol.

Morals

I think the most apparent, and the most outlying, theme that this film drives across is the purpose of life, as well as the godliness of cloning. Many Christians vary in their stance on the cloning process. In my opinion, cloning is not a process I approve of. In my view, the cloning of human beings questions God’s ultimate design and how he created, each individual, to be unique (the cloning of items is a different discussion).

Cloning: Right or wrong? Answer

We are made, individually, in God’s image and that cannot be replicated. The Bible states the following:

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” —Genesis 1:27

“And to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” —Ephesians 4:24

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” —Romans 8:29

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own” —1 Corinthians 6:19

Likewise, because God has created us in His image, we are to serve Him gladly in all that we do. We are to praise Him for every breath we take, every day we are given. As King David said:

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” —Psalm 139:14

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” —Ephesians 2:10

Closing Thoughts

There are a few moments where this film shines, but those are few and far between. The plot points don’t make sense, performances are lackluster (and some characters are underutilized), and the objectionable material is extensive, especially for a PG-13 film, and, like I said, the film never figures out what it wants to be. Perhaps I’m being TOO critical, but when Hollywood delayed the film’s release for 2-3 years, I expected a little more than what I got. In short, I do not recommend it for Christian viewing (it is NOT appropriate for young children). Do yourself a favor and skip this film.

  • Violence: Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderately Heavy
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderate
  • Nudity: Moderately Heavy
  • Sex: Minor
  • Occult: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…“Replicas” manages to be perversely entertaining for its fast-paced first half, if only because of the sheer absurdity of its storyline. But it eventually devolves into tedious thriller tropes. …Mad scientist movies don't come any cheesier. …
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
…As “Replicas” races headlong toward its conclusion, the filmmakers manage to avoid every potentially interesting choice for far dumber, and far more inexplicable, conclusions. …
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
…The actor’s distinctive acting style is the only reason to watch this silly C-grade pulp filled with stilted dialogue and bad CGI… [2/5]
Charles Bramesco, The Guardian [UK]
…The climax’s bizarre left turns culminate in a final image so bewildering that were the film not so relentlessly dour it might have clarified Replicas as an absurdist comedy. …[1/4]
Jake Coyle, Slant Magazine
…“Replicas” can’t even succeed at being fun trash… …Replicas is chock-full of histrionic what-ifs that seem to hyperventilate so hard in their delivery that they don’t have enough oxygen to actually blow anyone’s mind. It would be the stuff of future cult screenings if it wasn’t so boring and muddled. …
Emily Yoshida, New York Magazine (Vulture)
…The laughably bad Keanu Reeves cloning movie seems like a prime candidate for a quiet release, but it’s in 2,000 theaters… How did “Replicas” end up in theaters instead of on VOD?…
Jesse Hassenger, The Verge
…Rampant silliness and gaping plot holes test audience patience in Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s sci-fi thriller. …Trouble is, the elements they offer to plug most (but by no means all) of those holes is little more than the stuff of routine paranoid thrillers. Too little, too late.
Joe Leydon, Variety