Replicas, the new movie starring Keanu Reeves (Johnny Mnemonic), did not screen early for press so, on this cold New York City January day, I trekked across town for the 10:10 a.m. screening on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Not screening for press is never a good sign, but it’s still a Keanu Reeves movie. He has a certain knack for making things, at least, somewhat watchable, in a Keanu Reeves kind of way.
(As an aside, I want to finally share my Keanu Reeves story. I’ll make this short. A couple years ago I stopped by a New York Comic Con party for John Wick 2 to see a publicist friend of mine, even though I was not covering, nor accredited for New York Comic Con. When I arrived, my publicist friend said, “I have to take care of a couple of things, but in the meantime, you can meet Keanu!” So before I even knew what was happening, she drops me in front of Keanu Reeves and says, “You two talk,” and leaves us. What transpired next was five minutes of two people having absolutely nothing to say to each other, which happens from time to time, but this time one of these people is Keanu Reeves. At one point he asked, “So, how are you enjoying Comic Con?” And I replied, “I haven’t been to it.” I then asked, “So, it’s crazy there’s a new Point Break, right?” And he said something like, “I haven’t thought about it much.” But neither of us could just walk away because we were both supposed to “talk.” Anyway, that was maybe the longest five minutes of my life and I take full blame for it.)
Anyway, while I was watching Replicas I kept a running diary. Here’s how that all went.
10:33 a.m.: One of Keanu Reeves first lines of dialogue in Replicas is, “This man is dead.” This was already worth the price of admission.
10:34 a.m.: Thomas Middleditch from Silicon Valley is in this movie.
10:34 a.m.: Keanu Reeves and Thomas Middledith just did the whole, “Do you concur?” “I concur,” routine that I thought was banned since Catch Me If You Can came out.
10:35 a.m.: Keanu Reeves just said, “Energize the body.” They should charge double for this movie.
10:38 a.m.: So Keanu Reeves is a scientist who is trying to transfer human consciousness from dead bodies to robots. Okay, whatever, I’m in.
10:40 a.m.: Keanu Reeves has returned home to his family and Thomas Middleditch’s character also lives with them? The only explanation given is when Middleditch jokes, “Hello, foster family.”
10:40 a.m.: I also did not realize Alice Eve was in this movie.
10:43 a.m.: It’s revealed Thomas Middleditch’s character is working on a book called The Cheatin’ Hussy
10:48 a.m.: Keanu Reeves’ family have now all died in a car accident. He has four bodies all laid out on the side of the road. Thomas Middleditch shows up and Keanu yells, “I said no questions!”
10:49 a.m.: They should charge triple for this movie.
10:49 a.m.: This is the funniest movie I’ve seen in a long time.
10:57 a.m.: This is also the most convoluted movie I’ve seen in a long time.
10:58 a.m.: Okay, so, the concept of the movie is they can save people who were killed by putting their brains in robots. But also Thomas Middleditch’s character knows how to make human clones that can be fully developed in 17 days.
10:59 a.m.: “And the Oscar goes to … Replicas.”
11:03 a.m.: Thomas Middleditch’s character just pointed out to Keanu that people might notice his whole family is missing for the next 17 days and Keanu replied, “I have a lot going on!”
11:05 a.m.: I was under the impression this is a horror movie and it is not at all.
11:22 a.m.: A man just walked out of Replicas.
11:23 a.m.: What if he’s a replica?
11:24 a.m.: I can see the title of his thinkpiece already, “What Replicas Gets Wrong About Replicas.”
11:26 a.m.: The woman to my left is really enjoying Replicas.
11:28 a.m.: She’s reacting to even the most benign scene in loud, audible exclamations.
11:28 a.m.: This woman is either a replica or this is the first movie she’s ever seen. Or maybe both.
11:30 a.m.: What if I am a replica? I guess I’d be okay with that.
11:35 a.m.: Keanu Reeves refers to pancakes as “flapjacks.”
11:38 a.m.: So here’s the thing, Keanu Reeves has successfully resurrected his family. His son sometimes dumps food into his milk, but other than that they all seem fine. From the trailers I thought they would all become evil.
11:40 a.m.: Honestly this should be a sitcom.
11:42 a.m.: I’d watch this as a sitcom: My Replica Family.
11:44 a.m.: In all honesty, this was already one of the most convoluted movies I’ve ever seen and it just got more convoluted.
11:48 a.m.: I swear I thought this was a horror movie. It’s just a movie about a corporation being evil.
11:59 a.m.: So I think just witnessed the most amazing scene in cinematic history. To fight the evil corporate bad guys, Keanu Reeves uploads his consciousness into a robot. But he still has his own consciousness. So now there are two Keanus fighting side by side.
12:02 p.m.: The robot Keanu looks like a robot, but has Keanu’s voice. This is amazing.
12:02 p.m.: Real Keanu and robot Keanu are having a conversation about themselves.
12:04 p.m.: I do not regret seeing this.
12:06 p.m.: How was this not released for awards consideration?
12:06 p.m.: “And the Oscar goes to … the robot version of Keanu Reeves.”
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