We’re always on the lookout for a good movie to recreate using only reviews, and Replicas seemed like the perfect candidate. The human clone thriller opened this weekend, and despite starring Keanu Reeves and Alice Eve, it wasn’t screened for critics, so most of the reviews dropped Friday, written by critics catching late Thursday screenings on their own dime.
Not screening for critics isn’t all that weird for a January-February sci-fi thriller — the traditional post-awards season dumping ground that last year gave us 12 Strong, The Commuter, and Den of Thieves, among others — but it doesn’t exactly scream “quality” either.
Replicas was directed by television writer-producer Jeffrey Nachmanoff, who only has a couple other feature directing credits, and was written by Chad St. John, a screenwriter who sounds like a porn star and whose apparent Twitter bio (not verified) describes him as a “male exotic thinker.” He previously wrote Peppermint, in which Jennifer Garner fights MS-13.
Long story short, all signs pointed to Replicas being the kind of movie that’s almost better to have described to you by exasperated critics than actually seen, and thus a perfect candidate for Plot Recreated With Reviews. That’s when we try to piece together the entire plot of a movie using nothing but expository quotes from movie reviews (no analysis!).
I think it turned out pretty well! Here we go…
Keanu Reeves, whose line deliveries have slowed to the point where he sounds like a record being played on the wrong speed [Detroit News]
stars as a neuroscientist, Will Foster [AV Club]
whose work is conducted at Bionyne, a biomedical research company in Puerto Rico. [Detroit News]
Foster is first seen waiting for a donated brain that is being brought to him via helicopter, cross-cutting between Reeves anxiously staring at his watch and the brain being rushed into the facility. During an operation to place this brain into a robot body, Dr. Foster is asked, “Do you concur?” by a colleague and Reeves cries, “I concur!” [TheWrap]
[Foster] is working on bringing the dead back to life by transferring their neural pathways into synthetic lifeforms — basically, downloading human brains into robot bodies.
He does this by standing around in a room with futuristic headgear on saying things like “boot the mapping service” to his trusty assistant, Ed (“Silicon Valley’s” Thomas Middleditch). [Detroit News]
A male corpse is wheeled into a laboratory. Foster announces to those assembled that the body is dead and that they’re about to transplant his brain into a robot. [THR]
After the procedure is completed, and just before Will can scream “It’s alive!,” the newly revived [THR]
understandably loses its cool when it sees metal hands and legs [RogerEbert.com]
and begins to tear at its own body. [THR]
Lots of yelling and ripping at metal ensues. [RogerEbert.com]
Nevertheless, Foster is encouraged. “This one spoke!” he cries optimistically before going home to his picture-perfect blonde wife Mona (Alice Eve) and their three rambunctious children. [TheWrap]
Her reaction is one for the books. “You can’t just keep bringing people back from the dead until you have this stuff worked out,” she points out, with less urgency than a wife reminding her husband to remember to put the toilet seat down. [THR]
Mona has been given one line of dialogue here about being a doctor, but she looks and behaves like a personal trainer. [TheWrap]
She’s worried that he’s losing his ability to tell right from wrong. Playing God does that to a scientist — makes him a Mad Scientist. He insists we’re all just “chemistry” and “neural pathways.” She’s talking about “the soul.” [RogersMovieNation]
Every line she speaks sounds hastily redubbed, and her re-emergence as a clone [spoiler alert!] betrays no additional unease. [The Verge]