Replicas casts Keanu Reeves as Will Foster, an ambitious scientist working on transferring consciousness to robot bodies when his wife (Alice Eve’s Mona) and three children (Emily Alyn Lind’s Sophie, Emjay Anthony’s Matt, and Aria Lyric Leabu’s Zoe) are killed in a tragic car accident – with the movie detailing Will’s subsequent efforts at bringing his family back to life using his own research methods. It’s an appealingly out-there premise that’s employed to persistently underwhelming and pervasively stagnant effect by director Jeffrey Nachmanoff, as the filmmaker, working from a script by Chad St. John, delivers an erratically-paced narrative that seems to transpire mostly within Reeves’ character’s modest home – which only enhances the padded-out feel and ensures that the movie, for the most part, is entirely unable to justify its 107 minute running time (ie this might’ve worked as an hour-long episode of The Outer Limits). There’s little doubt, then, that Replicas‘ sporadically watchable vibe is due to Reeves’ solid performance and a sprinkling of appealingly sci-fi-tinged elements and quandaries, with, in terms of the latter, St. John occasionally emphasizing the almost impossible choices Will must make regarding his family (eg he must decide which of his three children to omit from the process). (It’s equally apparent, however, that the movie contains a variety of impossible-to-overlook plot holes that contribute heavily to the lackluster atmosphere.) And although the third act admittedly boasts a few engrossing moments (eg a killer robot briefly goes on a rampage), Replicas has long-since confirmed its place as a thoroughly disappointing thriller that squanders its seemingly foolproof setup.

** out of ****

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