Well, it took me about a month to be able to get a copy of it and watch it, but I’ve finally been able to see one of the latest Cyberpunk movies of 2019, Replicas.
In case you missed my pre-release post about this indie movie coming out in theaters, here’s another summary of the plot. Neuroscientist William Foster is on the verge of a breakthrough in transferring human consciousness to robot bodies when his family is suddenly and tragically killed in a car accident. As a result, Foster decides to take the already developing technology of organic cloning and combine it with his human consciousness work in order to attempt to create flash clones of his family and then imprint their minds on their subsequent clone bodies in time. Not all goes according to plan, however, and not all is at it seems as the corporation he works for starts to suspect something wrong is afoot.
Relatively short in length, Replicas tries to attempt many different things at the same time, and I would venture to say it was fairly successful in doing so. Despite relatively poor CGI for their robot bodies by today’s standards, I thoroughly enjoyed this Cyberpunk take on digitizing consciousness and cloning. Keanu Reeves does a great job of being a harried scientist that has to race against time to solve problem after problem in order to try to bring his family back to life.
I really don’t know why this movie got so poorly reviewed online. Perhaps because of high expectations for some reason? Or maybe because of the relatively flimsy nature of the antagonists in the story? Although I would argue that the real antagonist here is fate. Replicas feels like a Cyberpunk tale of a scientist problem-solving his way through an impossible task, much like Matt Damon did in The Martian. It’s not an action film, if that’s what you were expecting, and it’s nothing deep philosophically like the Matrix was. However, it does an interesting job of asking the question: how would biological bodies interface with mental minds and human brains, in order to have a digital copy of consciousness take on a body or even a clone body? And how would these clones of real life deal with the ethical and philosophical implications of them existing only as a copy of someone or something else?
Overall I would give Replicas a solid 8/10. Go into the movie expecting a race against time and problem-solving story, with little action, and you won’t be disappointed.