Fast, cheap, and out of control, Replicas is the latest reminder that Keanu Reeves needs a firm directorial hand to harness his niche set of skills.
Reminiscent of last year’s Kin with its bizarre storyline, amateurish acting from typically dependable stars, and an over-reliance on the “wow” factor of futuristic technology, Reeves is painfully awkward as a scientist who decides spur-of-the-moment to clone his recently deceased family and implant their memories as if life was never interrupted.
Thanks to an inane script by Chad St. John (Peppermint; London Has Fallen) and the rusty return of Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor) to feature film directing after a decade in television, Replicas likewise makes Thomas Middleditch (HBO’s Silicon Valley) and John Ortiz (Bumblebee) look worse than they have since their middle school theater days.
Hampered by plot holes that only widen with shoehorned explanations, the story is unintentionally hilarious at times and the production overall reeks of being little more than a lazy excuse for the cast and crew to vacation in Puerto Rico.
Far from the recent rise in quality of January releases, Replicas is instead a classic “dumping ground” title, one available on screens out of contractual obligation, not out of respect for moviegoers.
Grade: D. Rated PG-13. Now playing at Biltmore Grande and Carolina Cinemark)
(Photo: Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures)