Replicas (film)

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Replicas
Replicas poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJeffrey Nachmanoff
Produced by
Screenplay byChad St. John
Story byStephen Hamel
Starring
Music by
  • Mark Kilian
  • Jose Ojeda
CinematographyChecco Varese
Edited byPedro Javier Muñiz
Production
company
Distributed byEntertainment Studios Motion Pictures
Release date
  • November 24, 2018 (2018-11-24) (Night Visions)[1]
  • January 11, 2019 (2019-01-11) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$30 million[3]
Box office$6.6 million[4]

Replicas is a 2018 American science fiction thriller film directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff and written by Chad St. John from a story by Stephen Hamel. The film tells the story of a neuroscientist who violates the law and biomedical ethics to bring his family members back to life after they die in a car accident. It stars Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, and Thomas Middleditch.

It was shown at the Night Visions International Film Festival in Finland in November 2018, and was theatrically released in the United States on January 11, 2019, by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures. The film was panned by critics, who criticized the writing, plotholes and acting. The film was also a box office flop, marking the worst opening of Reeves's career.

Plot[edit]

William Foster and Ed Whittle are biomedical research scientists working for Biodyne corporation in Puerto Rico, attempting to transfer the mind of a dead soldier into an android with superhuman strength, codenamed Subject 345. Foster specializes in synthetic biology and mapping of the mind's neural pathways, while Whittle's speciality is reproductive human cloning. Foster successfully captures the soldier's neural net and transfers it into the android's synthetic brain, but the experiment fails when the soldier recoils in horror at the android body and destroys it, killing himself again. Foster's boss Jones warns him that if he cannot get Subject 345 to work, the company's shareholders will shut the project down.

Foster takes his wife Mona and three children Sophie, Matt, and Zoe, on a boating trip, but on the way all but William are killed in a car crash. Grief-stricken, but determined to resurrect his family, he coaxes Ed to bring him the Biodyne equipment necessary to extract his family's neural nets and to clone replacement bodies for them. He successfully extracts the neural nets and tells Whittle to dispose of the bodies, but the first major obstacle to Foster's plan presents itself: only three cloning pods are available, forcing Foster to choose which one to sacrifice. He chooses Zoe, the youngest, and erases her memory from the neural nets of the other three. Whittle starts the seventeen-day cycle required to create mature replacement clones for Foster's family, and tells Foster he has only that long to solve the problem of integrating the neural nets into the cloned bodies, or else they will start to deteriorate by aging at an abnormally fast rate. Integrating the mind into a biological clone was phase two of the research project, to be solved after android transfer. Foster is forced to keep this secret, since he and Whittle have stolen millions of dollars of Biodyne equipment and are breaking biomedical ethics. He spends the seventeen days removing evidence of Zoe's existence from his home, and creating cover stories of illness to explain his family's absence from work, school, and social media contact.

When Foster notices his wife's central nervous system reacting to his touch, he realizes that the failure of Subject 345 was because the mind expects connection to a biological body with heartbeat and respiration, rather than a synthetic one. He knows now that transfer into the clones will not be a problem, and the failure of android transfer can be solved by programming a simulated mind-body interface to make the android body appear biological. He successfully transfers the memories of his loved ones into the cloned bodies, then goes back to work creating a synthetic mind-body interface. When the next dead body he receives has suffered too much brain damage to be viable, Foster resorts to recording his own mind for the android transfer. Meanwhile, Sophie has a nightmare of her death, and Mona catches Foster erasing her memory of the event. He confesses that they died in a car crash and that he resurrected them. The family soon discovers evidence of Zoe's existence that he missed, and he further admits to Mona that he couldn't save Zoe and erased their memories of her.

Jones confronts Foster and reveals that he is aware of what Foster and Whittle have done. He tells them the research is not actually intended for medical purposes, but is being financed by the government to provide a military weapon, and that Foster's family are simply loose ends to be eliminated. Foster destroys his mind-body interface, incapacitates Jones, and flees, attempting to escape by boat. Jones' henchmen capture Foster's family. He purses them to Biodyne, where it is clear that Whittle has sold them out. Jones kills Whittle and forces Foster to finish Subject 345. Foster uploads his own mind into Subject 345, who kills Jones' men and mortally wounds Jones. The two Fosters then negotiate a deal with Jones, whereby he can live in a cloned body and become rich by working with Foster-345, selling the transfers to wealthy people looking for a second life. Since Whittle could not bring himself to destroy the family's original bodies, Foster is able to retire in peace with his family, including the newly-cloned Zoe,

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Riverstone Pictures and Remstar Studios signed on to co-finance the film, which would be produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Stephen Hamel, sharing producing duties with Keanu Reeves, Mark Gao, and Luis A. Riefkohl.[5] Executive producers include James Dodson, Clark Peterson, Maxime Remillard, Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Nik Bower, Erik Howsan, Walter Josten, Ara Keshishian, Deepak Noyar.

Principal photography on the film began on August 10, 2016, in Puerto Rico.[7]

Release[edit]

The film was sold after a private screening at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival to Entertainment Studios for $4 million.[8] It was then released in the United States on January 11, 2019.[9] The studio spent $10.5 million advertising the film.[10]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

As of January 16, 2019, Replicas has grossed $2.9 million in the United States and Canada, and $3.7 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $6.6 million, against a production budget of $30 million.[4]

In the United States and Canada, Replicas was released alongside The Upside and A Dog's Way Home, as well as the wide expansion of On the Basis of Sex, and was initially projected to gross $4–7 million in its opening weekend.[11] But after making just $950,000 on its first day, including $200,000 from Thursday night previews, estimates were lowered to $3 million. It went on to debut to $2.4 million finishing 12th at the box office, and marking the worst wide release opening of Reeves' career.[10]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 9% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 3.3/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Equal parts plot holes and unintentional laughs, Replicas is a ponderously lame sci-fi outing that isn't even bad enough to be so bad it's good."[12] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 18 out of 100, based on 14 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[13] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C" on an A+ to F scale.[10]

Variety's Joe Leydon criticized the film for its "cavernous plot holes, risible dialogue, and ludicrously illogical behavior", while Charles Bramesco of The Guardian wrote, "After what may be one hundred hours, the film does not so much end as it stops, the score's wrapping-up tone an evident substitute for closure or resolution".[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Schedule". Night Visions (film festival). Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Replicas". AMC Theatres. Retrieved December 30, 2018.
  3. ^ Redazione Il Cineocchio (November 11, 2018). "Nel full trailer di Replicas, Keanu Reeves clona i familiari morti nei corpi di robot" (in Spanish). Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Replicas (2018) – Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c McNary, Dave (August 19, 2016). "Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve's Sci-Fi Thriller 'Replicas' Gets Financing". Variety.com. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Ford, Rebecca; Sandberg, Bryn Elise (July 14, 2016). "'Silicon Valley' Star Thomas Middleditch Joining Keanu Reeves in 'Replicas' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 24, 2016.
  7. ^ Alexander, Chris (August 18, 2016). "Keanu Reeves' Replicas Now in Production - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved August 20, 2016.
  8. ^ "Toronto: Keanu Reeves Sci-Fi Thriller 'Replicas' Goes to Entertainment Studios". The Hollywood Reporter.
  9. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 1, 2018). "Keanu Reeves Sci-Fi Thriller 'Replicas' Gets Release Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 1, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 12, 2018). "'Upside' Set To Be STX's First No. 1 Opener With $19M+; 'Aquaman' Flips Over $1B WW; Keanu Reeves Hits B.O. Low With 'Replicas'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  11. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (January 8, 2018). "'The Upside' to Lead Quiet Box Office Otherwise Dominated by Holiday Holdovers". TheWrap. Retrieved January 8, 2019.
  12. ^ "Replicas (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  13. ^ "Replicas reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved January 15, 2019.

External links[edit]