Well…I was right. It fucking hurt.
We’re what? Sixteen days into the new year? And I think I’ve already discovered the worst film of the year. It’s certainly the worst film of the year so far, and it’s the first fucking movie I’ve seen this year!
Christ…where do I even begin?
Wooden, unnatural acting; wooden, unnatural dialogue; an incredibly dark and disturbing story wrapped in layers of family-friendly sci-fi shmaltz; wasting Keanu Reeves…
These are only some of the ingredients that come together to make this film an absolute load of shit.
Let’s just…let’s get on with it.
- Is it realistic? Does it work? Does it flow? Is it consistent to the character speaking? Does it serve a purpose beyond just exposition?
- Is there depth? If not, is there at least some level of intrigue?
- Does it make sense? Is it easy to follow the sequence of events? If there is no narrative, does the game’s basic sequence make sense?
- If there’s a point, is it made and is it made well?
- Is the music something I’d want to hear again?
- Does it suit the work? Enhance the experience? Or is it inappropriate and distracting?
- Does the actor succeed in making the character feel like a person?
- Does the actor succeed in making the character sympathetic and likeable? Or does the character succeed in making you hate them?
- Does the overall performance achieve what was intended?
- Special effects
- Are they well done? Do they fit the movie? Do they distract from the film?
- Does it help to enhance the storytelling? Is it interesting to look at? Does it make you experience the events instead of just watching them?
- Do they fit the film? Do they look good? Do the costumes suit the characters wearing them?
- Set design
- Do the sets fit the film? If it’s a period piece, are they accurate? Are they well-balanced and pleasing to look at?
With these things in mind, let’s get on with the review.
Oh, you wanted more?
And I already did this joke before?
It basically is just Frankenstein, with a little bit of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The 6th Day thrown in for good measure.
Never head of that one? Good. It’s awful too, but surprisingly less awful than this piece of trash.
The story revolves around Keanu Reeves’ character, named Bill (insert relevant Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and/or Bogus Journey joke here), whose family dies in a tragically unclear way.
Well, the wife’s death isn’t unclear.
She’s turned into a blonde-kabob.
His three children, on the other hand? No fucking clue.
I’m assuming it’s supposed to be death by drowning, but the scene is shot so poorly that it kind of looks like they all died of the same thing Padme died of in Revenge of the Sith…
Anyway, on some little weekend vacation they’re all going to take, his family dies in a car accident (again, wife-kabob thanks to a felled tree, and drowning[?] for the kiddies when he nose dives off the road and into a small pond which causes the car to land ass-first in the water, partially submerging the backseat…see why I’m confused as to how the kids died?). Luckily for his family, they’re not dead for long, as Keanu Reeves is actually some kind of neurobiologist who’s been working on taking dead people’s minds and transferring them into new bodies!
His experiments never work out, however, but he’s just so broken his family is gone, he’s willing to experiment on their corpses to bring them back. He even drags his best friend into the scheme and makes him his Igor as they plan to use the friend’s knowledge to clone them and restore their bodies, and then use Keanu’s tech in order to restore their minds. What could possibly go wrong?
Turns out a lot, actually.
Who’d a thunk?
Long story short, he brings them back, fucks with their heads, but the wife starts remembering stuff anyway because she’s a doctor and actually quite clever herself – something Keanu didn’t account for in his grief, apparently, along with a bunch of other things – and he has to tell her that she’s a remake, and then it turns out that his boss, who’s been berating him the whole fucking movie about getting his tech to work without the brain rejecting the bodies, isn’t actually the head of a medical company, as previously thought, but actually the head of some shady, black market military company who wants to use his tech to put pilots into drones and hackers into computer viruses or something…
I…I’m really trying to explain the plot as simply as I can…
Upon discovering his boss is evil and wants to kill his clone family in order to keep the company’s dealings a secret, Keanu and the fam go on the run. Then they’re sold out by best friend, who’s then killed by Boss, and Boss threatens Keanu to give him the algorithm to make the whole brain-in-synthetic-body thing work, then Keanu – who earlier in the film mapped out his own brain – uploads his mind into a robot’s and the Robot Keanu kicks everyone’s butt (Bossman had a hit squad of security assassins, by the way…), allowing for Keanu and fam to escape.
Keanu and Robot Keanu then make a deal with Boss (who Robot Keanu just beat to death) that they’ll bring him back to life and make him a rich man if he leaves Keanu and fam alone. He’s bleeding out from the brain when he makes this deal, by the way. He doesn’t make the deal posthumously…
Bossman agrees, and Keanu and fam get to live happily ever after while Robot Keanu gets to make people immortal in Dubai for cash cash money for the rest of eternity, I guess. I have no idea how long the shelf life on something like that is. It’s bullet proof, so for all we know he lives until the end of time.
It’s dirty, hairy, shitty ass.
I mean, explaining the plot like I did almost makes it sound So-Bad-It’s-Good, but it REALLY, REALLY isn’t.
I know. Something where I have to say the words “Robot Keanu Reeves” isn’t hilarious. It’s a crime.
The film itself is so fucking boring, and when it’s not boring it’s horribly cynical and, frankly, upsetting.
I mean, the opening scene shows Keanu taking the mind of a dead soldier and transferring it into a robotic body, where the solider subsequently loses his goddamn mind because of the serious body dysmorphia shit going on (something it takes Keanu’s genius scientist character HALF THE FUCKING MOVIE to realize would probably REALLY freak someone out!!!) and decides to try and rip his own throat out because he’s so freaked out by the fact that he’s suddenly in a robot body…which probably feels pretty fucked up.
Keanu later tells us that your brain can’t handle the whole metal body thing because your nerves wouldn’t be hooked up to anything real, so your body assumes it’s dying, and your brain fucks up. So, I guess these people have been waking up in these metal skeletons, and it feels like they’re honestly just sitting there in their skeleton and nothing else, which would probably register as unfathomable pain…
And then the movie ends with a synth song called “I Will Live Forever”, which is super poppy and upbeat and fun. After all this horrible, ghastly, morally reprehensible shit has happened.
It’s actually kind of a good song (my dad says it sounds like a worse version of the song that plays at the end of Tomb Raider  and…yeah), but after making the audience sit and watch this disturbing thing that includes a man deleting the memories of his youngest child because he didn’t want to have to bring her back at a different time than everyone else in his family, as there were only three artificial wombs for him to use, it really feels like the filmmakers just replaced the credits with a series of middle fingers…
You read my synopsis. It’s a goddamn mess.
People who think Venom has a problem maintaining a tone should watch this movie. Christ.
The plot changes from horror to sci-fi/comedy to 90s action sci-fi with, like, zero flow or natural transitions.
There was no point during the film where I was in any way sucked into the story or the world. Every little thing felt so insultingly underdeveloped. Like the family! The crux of the damn plot! We meet them for all of five minutes, tops, and then they’re dead.
Within the first fifteen minutes of the movie.
And then we’re expected to give a shit and take Keanu’s side during all this really fucked up shit, like choosing which child dies by picking a name from a bowl, and forcing his Igor (named Ed, by the way) to bury all four bodies in the company yard.
We really don’t get any character development for anyone. The kids just exist to make you go, “ah noes, not the younglings!”, the wife just kind of mindlessly moves the plot forward, Ed makes no sense, as first he puts up with too much then just betrays his best friend because reasons; Bossman is a moustache twirling villain with some of the worst dialogue I’ve heard in a while, and Keanu is a lump of useless, emotional, psychotic science-babble.
Poor Keanu, man. He had nothing to work with. The dialogue was so stilted and unnatural…everyone kept addressing each other differently every scene (for example, Keanu was introduced as Bill, then for the majority of the film he’s called William by everyone, including his wife who pronounces it like it has four syllables, then towards the end they start using Bill again…), the wife’s dialogue made her sound like a robot, and the evil boss, like I mentioned earlier, has the worst dialogue ever.
For most of the film, his dialogue is just, “Hey, get this neuroscience shit done bro. If you don’t, you lose your funding”.
Then, all of a sudden, when it’s time to reveal he’s actually a villain, he shows up at Keanu’s house and starts saying some really creepy shit to his wife like, “Beautiful and generous. I’ve heard of women like YOU before” *wink, wink*.
And then, when it’s REALLY time to reveal he’s evil, he monologues about nothing, and when Keanu tries to sedate him so he and his family can escape this guy’s looming death squad outside the house, he grabs the syringe from him and just stares at Keanu and says, “This is going to piss me off, isn’t it?”
It’s so embarrassing.
And that’s just the straight dialogue…I haven’t even addressed the comedy yet.
Oh yes. This film has attempts at comedy in it.
This film, that for the majority of the running time tries to play it like a straight thriller or action movie, devolves into comedy around the middle. And it’s baaaad. I know that comedy is subjective, but it’s really hard to laugh at anything that’s shot like Gone Girl.
For example, when Keanu has begun the cloning process for his family, it would seem he’s forgotten the fact that his family had lives and shit, and people who care for them and would worry about them after they’ve seemingly disappeared with no explanation for several days (the cloning process takes seventeen days, for some reason).
After his son’s creepy teacher comes by, expressing how she came to the house to look for him because he’s her favourite (I dunno…something about the way she said it made it sound really unsettling), he decides to start impersonating his family via social media and email. This culminates in him, pretending to be his teenaged daughter, telling her boyfriend that she’s grounded until she’s eighteen, while muttering to himself about the situation…
Also, the cloning process requires a back-up generator, which Keanu didn’t have, so he had to go out and steal all the car batteries from everyone in the neighbourhood. Of course, the police drop by to investigate the theft.
Keanu runs to the door, looking guilty and dirty as fuck, and admits to the officers that he’s the ONLY PERSON on the block whose car battery was NOT stolen. One of the cops even looks super suspicious, but they end up leaving. After Keanu closes the door, he tilts his head awkwardly and proclaims, “Well, that’s a thing that happened”.
Like, it was played like a punchline, but the joke is kind of lost when you’re following a character who is so painfully unlikable and the situation he’s in is genuinely serious. Like, this should have been a scene that either makes the audience go, “OH DAYUM, HE GON GIT CAUGHT!”, or, “Please policemans, catch the fucker”!
Instead, it’s a total joke.
And the fact it’s a joke really hits home when you realize this entire little scene serves ZERO purpose to the plot. The cops, despite looking a little suspicious, never return, and Keanu never has to deal with the consequences of stealing from his neighbours…or stealing millions of dollars worth of extremely valuable and delicate lab equipment…
Maybe if Keanu was written likeably, I’d be more willing to forgive how shit the plot is.
Shut up, likeably is totally a word.
Don’t look it up…
Instead, he’s boring and dickish and selfish and honestly just cruel. And, thanks to the fact that the goddamn movie has no characterization in it, there are scenes where his coworkers are supposed to notice that he’s not doing well and acting weird, EXCEPT HIS DIALOGUE IS WRITTEN LIKE NOTHING HAS CHANGED. Keanu’s performance doesn’t help either, and we’ll cover that later, but again I just feel sorry for him. He had nothing to work with. His character wasn’t given any charm or charisma, and because of that I was given zero reasons to care about ANYTHING this guy was going through. I just kept asking myself, “Why the fuck hasn’t Ed turned him into the authorities???”
I mean…the reason is apparently because it was written in the script that he had to betray Keanu later, but…whatever.
And all this is eclipsed by one of the most insulting things about this movie is the moral lesson at the end – or lack thereof.
This film was so clearly drawing upon so many other sci-fi films about the nature of humanity, not least among them: Blade Runner, Robocop, Ghost in the Shell, and The Island…
AND YET it does nothing to add to the conversation.
Actually, it’s worse than that. It actively AVOIDS these moral questions in order to make Keanu Frankenstein look like a hero, when he’s so obviously NOT.
His friend points out that what he’s planning at the beginning of the movie is fucked up and against nature.
His wife, when she discovers that something’s up, gets angry with him and asks him if she and the kids are even real to him anymore.
He asks his Robot self what it feels like to be in a metal body. We get, “This is going to sound weird, but…it feels like me”.
It’s just such a fucking waste!
A moral lesson is even set up at the film’s start because his wife questions the morality of his work bringing soldiers back to life and asks about whether or not it’s possible the only way to replicate a human is to give them a soul, instead of just transferring biological ones-and-zeros. Keanu laughs her off and is like, “lol, no such thing”, and the movie PROVES HIM RIGHT.
There are ZERO consequences for his actions: his family doesn’t get totally fucked after he messes around with their memories, and there’s literally nothing stopping him from conducting further experiments on them in the future. He even DOES experiment on his daughter later to get rid of her nightmare about the car crash, AND his wife catches him, AND NOTHING HAPPENS. He’s given a stern look and that’s it.
Erasing a child’s entire existence from his family’s brains – meaning YEARS of their lives are now fucking gone, because they’d have to be – has ZERO impact on the kids, and it takes the wife AGES to figure out that things are wrong!
Say what you want about the philosophical idea of the soul, but to just dismiss and ridicule an argument YOU fucking brought up in YOUR OWN damn fucking movie just shows a really disheartening level of disrespect for the audience. Like, the filmmakers are just telling us “No! We won’t have a conversation about these themes or ideas. You’re just fucking wrong if you feel any differently than we are the sum of our experiences and neurons”.
Also, the fact that Keanu has discovered the ability to bring people back to life makes part of the ending REALLY fucked up.
Remember how I said that Boss kills Ed swiftly after his Judas moment is revealed? Remember how I also said that Robot Keanu beat the Boss to death, but cut a deal with him in his dying moments to bring him back and make him rich? Yes?
Well, what about Ed? The man who made bringing his family back even fucking possible? The man whose expertise on cloning made making HUMAN clones even fucking possible in the first place? And who you’d assume Keanu and Robot Keanu might need in order to fulfill their promise to Boss?
Keanu goes up to his dead body and closes his eyes, leaving him there to rot.
To be fair, Ed was shot in the head, and you need an intact brain in order to bring someone back to life, but my question is WHY PERMA KILL HIM!?
The movie established that the only reason the cloning shit worked was because of Ed’s involvement! Keanu doesn’t do clones! Ed left behind a couple notes on how to do the whole clone thing, but I find it INCREDIBLY difficult to believe that Keanu was able to PERFECT the process that seemed like a goddamn Hail Mary to begin with WITHOUT THE GUY WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE.
But I guess Keanu is just THAT smart, right? He’s the fucking best!
…except, y’know, when it comes to covering up your crimes in a believable and thorough fashion…except for that part, he’s VERY fucking smart.
Also also, now that I think about it, Bossman died because of serious brain trauma due to Robot Keanu (who we see not long before he attacks the bad guys is able to bend metal with ease) beat his brains in…but I guess they forgot that blunt trauma to the head and face to the point that your brains are leaking out would maybe damage a brain just as much as a bullet would…
Fuck this is dumb.
I just don’t understand why this film even bothered to try pretending it was anything close to Blade Runner when the filmmakers clearly wanted it to just be a dumb, meaningless 90s-style flick about clones. Why introduce philosophical arguments, just to shut them down? Why introduce the concept of immortality with zero consequences or limits, only to leave behind a vital character because…reasons?
EVERYONE gets a happy ending, even the scummy, rapey boss, who wanted to kill a man’s CHILDREN, gets to live the rest of his life a very, very wealthy man. But Ed? The only nice guy (except for the betrayal part, but he only did it in a naïve effort to save his friend and the fam), the best actor in the damn movie, and the ONLY genuinely likeable character in the whole movie?
It’s a disgrace.
Dialogue – D
Development – R
Coherence – D
Conciseness – C
This section is going to be VERY short, because the music was blah.
It wasn’t utter shit, because it never distracted me from the scene, but it did absolutely NOTHING for me.
It honestly just kind of sounded like some stock action music you’d find on a sketchy website online with a billion popups for horny milfs in your area and miracle weight loss supplements.
It never really fits the scenes, because the film is so tonally broken, but it’s not noticeable enough to get angry over. It’s just clear there was no effort put into it.
The best part of the soundtrack is that synth song I mentioned earlier, “I Will Live Forever”. However, I still view this song as being a giant middle finger to the audience, and it tonally doesn’t mesh with the majority of the film.
Also, my dad was right. Tomb Raider (2018) totally did it better…
Hearing the song blast at the end was honestly more jarring than the first time I heard that grotesquely mushy love ballad that plays at the end of Bram Stoker’s Dracula…
Speaking of which…
Memorability – D
Tone – C-
The acting is the worst.
The only nice thing I can say about the movie is that the child actors weren’t terrible. They had some shit dialogue that forced a shit performance out of them once or twice, but for the most part they weren’t bad.
Also, Ed was the best actor in the whole movie. He was genuinely cute and sympathetic.
But he dies, so who cares?
I already noted Keanu’s performance in the Story section, stating that he had nothing to work with and so his performance suffered. I have never seen Keanu Reeves act so poorly before, and I’ve seen Bram Stoker’s Dracula (obviously^). The only issue in that film was his accent. His performance was decent, especially when he needed to act scared or freaked out.
Replicas, on the other hand? He’s a goddamn block of wood!
Here’s where I’m going to bring up that scene from before, where he shows up at work all distressed and his coworkers notice. The problem with this scene doesn’t just lie with the fact that there’s nothing in the dialogue that suggests his change in demeanour, there’s nothing in his performance that changes. He gets a little sweatier, but he plays Bill like a nervous, uptight, weirdo the whole fucking movie. He’s supposed to look like he has pneumonia, and he just looks the exact same! I don’t know why ANYONE would notice him behave strangely. HE’S ALREADY STRANGE!
There’s also another part, where he’s arguing with Ed about how they need a backup generator for the artificial wombs and Keanu is complaining that he can’t go out and just buy one because it’s 2am. This scene is the WORST acting from Keanu in the whole movie. He begins to Shatner his lines, chopping up the sentences bubbling out of his mouth in an unnatural way, and in order to exemplify how upset and intense he is during the conversation, he starts jerking his head back and forth in sync with each break in his speech pattern.
You want comedy? There it is. Christ. I have NEVER seen such a bizarre, unnatural performance from him before. Not in Dracula, not in Bill and Ted, not in Speed, not in John Wick, and not in The Matrix. Not even in the sequels!
It was like he’d suddenly been possessed by a chicken or something. I…there are no words.
And then there’s the Bossman. I’ve recently seen this man act. He plays this alien-obsessed scientist in Bumblebee, and he’s perfectly fine in that role. I wouldn’t say it’s a brilliant performance, but he behaves like a person. In this movie, he acts like a weird, robotic stereotype of the hard boss-guy (which makes sense, I suppose, since that’s all he is for three-quarters of the movie), and then he becomes a villain…and…I hate saying this, but…he comes across like a…well…a pervert…
Like, he says every line like he’s planning on stealing the clone wife in order to lock her naked in his basement so he can re-enact the events of Room…
I sound like I’m exaggerating, but “creepy sexual predator” was HONESTLY the vibe I got from him as soon as he shows up at Keanu’s house in order to start monologuing. And then the rest of the film is him switching between sex predator and manic-depressive Batman villain. It’s…God it’s weird. It’s almost funny, but the performance honestly just skeeved me out too much to find it amusing.
I mean…at least he’s genuinely creepy, right?
However, the worst actor in the film BY FAR is the wife, Mona. She is TRAAAASH.
The last thing I’ve seen her in was Iron Fist season 2 as Typhoid Mary, a character who is basically Nikki from Heroes for anyone who remembers that show, or Kevin from Split. Basically, Typhoid Mary is a woman with multiple personality disorder, and one of her personalities has super powers but is also villainous.
Watching Iron Fist, Pinkie and I thought her performance was weird, but considering she was playing a highly disturbed character, we thought she was just doing a “thing”…
I actually feel really bad about this, but I will admit that, like, the second or third line she uttered made me snort in the theatre, and it was really loud and I felt like an ass… Luckily there were only two other people in the theatre, and they were down near the front while Pinkie and I were in the very back. One of the guys spent the whole movie playing Solitaire and the other guy was long gone before the credits started…
I still feel like a prick though. It was loud…
I couldn’t help it! She just shows up in the kitchen to confront an arguing Keanu and Ed, and just with the blankest stare I’ve seen on an actress since the last time January Jones was in anything, and she tilts her head like a robot and flatly announces, “What IS going ON?”
Ok, I realize I can’t really get the hilarity across in written-form, but it was just so jarringly inhuman, and this is when she’s 100% human and not a clone or a robot AT ALL!…I just… Oh it’s bad.
What the…? Uhh…okay.
New development. Pinkie just told me that Alice Eve, the actress who plays Mona, also played Carol Marcus in Star Trek: Into Darkness… What the hell?
I mean, I know a lot of people weren’t huge fans of that movie, but I am, and I thought she did perfectly fine! Other than that really awkward scene where she strips for cheesecake value (I’m still mad they cut the Benedict Cumberbatch fanservice scene…), she was alright! And I can’t blame her for how awkward that scene was. That was entirely the director’s fault… But I guess she was also allowed to keep her normal accent in that movie, so that might be why… Accenting and acting are hard to do at the same time. Ask Keanu.
And Sophie Turner.
I’m sorry, but her Jean Grey kind of sucks because she’s obviously trying not to Brit everywhere…but I digress.
Why didn’t they just let the wife be British? They already live in Puerto Rico, and we already know nothing about any of the family members…who gives a shit if she has a posh accent or not? If it would have helped churn out a good performance, I don’t know why they didn’t just do that!
There were moments when you could see the good actor try and come out, especially when she confronts Keanu when she discovers the nightmare experiment, and gets angry that he’s fucking with her child. She ALMOST gets a decent reaction out of herself, and then she just goes back to Stepford Wife… It’s really hard to watch.
That’s also the best written scene in the whole movie, and her body language was on point, but because she couldn’t get her face or voice to convey the right emotion, the scene falls completely flat. Plus the fact that it just ends and the moral arguments are left with no answers…
One of the things that could have made this movie “Bad, but Worth Watching” would have been the acting (the other would be visuals…we’re getting there…), but it’s all just so dull and lifeless and bizarre that I couldn’t bring myself to laugh for very long. There was the one line from Mona that made me snort, and then my brain just slowly melted for the next hour and forty minutes…
Realistic – R
Emotional – R
Effective – R
Alright. If you weren’t already doing so, sit down.
This goddamn movie…
Its visuals are the worst I’ve seen in a film released in theatres EVER.
Worse than I, Robot. Worse than Gods of Egypt. Worse than Transformers: The Last Knight. Worse than Justice League. Worse than even fucking Slender Man…
I have seen YouTube videos with better CGI animation than this film.
I know the movie had a budget of only 30 million dollars but COME ON. You could get STOCK animations for FREE that look better rendered than this. Fuck, most of this shit looks like it would honestly fit right in with any Asylum film. Atlantic Rim looked better than this fucking movie. I mean…it doesn’t look MUCH better, but at least the robots and monsters look a little creative.
They couldn’t even make a HELICOPTER look real. It looks like it’d fit right in with Metal Gear Solid 2’s graphics. To be fair, MGS2’s graphics can be attributed to the limitations that videogames had at the time. If Hideo Kojima could have delivered better, he would have, as evidenced by the creation of Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain and Death Stranding.
I couldn’t take the entire climax and epilogue of the film seriously because it leans HEAVILY on the CG. I mean, they need to show Robot Keanu kick ass and beat on the Bossman. And it looks so…so bad!
The robot moves like a Harryhausen monster, only at least with Harryhausen it’s charming and the tactility makes the creatures look like they’re real, even though they clearly aren’t. I never once looked at the robot and could let myself believe it was there. It just…it always looked like it was on a completely separate layer from everything else. It was the thing that made me chuckle the most in the theatre. It’s not enough to make me ever want to watch the film again, but it was at least the most entertaining thing about the whole movie.
But CGI isn’t everything that encompasses a film’s visuals. Sure, the special effects were shite, but how did the rest of the movie look?
The colour grading made everything look terribly flat and cheap, like it belongs buried on daytime TV somewhere. It really looks like one of those Hallmark or Lifetime movies. Netflix movies are better shot.
The film also really misuses the Dutch Angle. It’s not as horrifically abhorrent as something like Battlefield Earth since it’s not used as often, but it’s used to similar effect.
I mean, the story is so creepy and disturbing, and Keanu Reeves’ Bill is not written to be any kind of heroic or positive protagonist, so Dutch Angles would make sense to use on occasion to convey a sense of unease. However, the director kept using it on the clone family, and on the characters around Keanu who’d call him out for being a shady piece of shit…
The fact that it, and other camera techniques, were used on the clone family to portray them as monsters felt incredibly gross and manipulative to me. I mean, the clones are not to blame for their own existence, yet the directing insists they’re monsters. and not the man who broke all the laws of nature in order to create them.
When I said this film’s plot is Frankenstein-like, I mean it. Only it’s clear the filmmakers completely misunderstood the meaning of the goddamned story. Mary Shelley never intended the monster to be Frankenstein’s creation – it was the doctor himself who was the monster.
This is hardly a revelation to most, I’m sure, but it’s an important distinction to make. Frankenstein’s creation had no say in his creation, just as Keanu’s family had no say in their creation. And considering the plot never shows ANYTHING EVER going wrong with the clones like it does in Frankenstein, with them snapping and becoming murderous, or their bodies being in some way imperfect and start melting or decaying, so portraying them like horrifying monsters seems really unfair. They are victims of the emotional and petty whims of a mad scientist, yet the film treats them like they’re moments away from turning on him and killing him. I started to actually believe that something was going to be wrong with them, only to see that it all amounted to nothing. It was really frustrating.
Once the real villain is revealed, though, they stop shooting the family like they’re movie monsters and treat them like people again, but it’s too little too late. They did so much to make you mistrust them that framing them like a pure, innocent, victim family feels really hollow – especially considering there is zero tact when it comes to transitioning tone during the movie.
It’s just such an ugly, unpleasant film to look at… If they had at least made it interesting to look at, or gave us more garbage CGI to laugh it, then the movie may have been watchable. But it’s not. It’s fucking garbage.
Special Effects – R
Camerawork – D-
Costumes – C-
Set design – C
One of the first things that came out of my mouth when Pinkie and I left the theatre was, “This reminds me of Passengers”.
Do you all remember Passengers?
The Chris Pratt-Jenifer Lawrence sci-fi/romance/thriller from 2016 that famously bombed because it was a horror script warped into the worst kind of romance that excused villainous and rapey behaviour for the sake of “true love”? That thing?
Well, turns out my instincts were right on the ball, as this stupid fucking movie was produced by the same assholes who ruined the Passengers script.
Replicas feels like a horror/thriller with sci-fi elements that got warped and shifted to fit a more mainstream, corporate, “let’s appease everybody” cake mould. The way the film was written, the way the characters were framed, and the way the plot plays out for seventy-fiveto eighty percent of the film makes it SEEM as though this was meant to be a kind of sci fi horror, where Keanu Reeves plays God one too many times and is severely punished for it.
However, someone took that and instead went, “Nah, slap on a happy ending and provide zero consequences to the man who WIPED HIS DAUGHTER’S MEMORY FROM HIS FUCKING FAMILY, AND EXPERIMENTED ON THEM, AND LIED TO THEM, AND BROKE SO MANY FUCKING LAWS TO DO IT”.
This film was cynical. It was morbid. It was disturbing. It was upsetting. It was unpleasant. It was gross.
I hated practically every second I was in the theatre, and I had a massive headache to nurse afterwards. Fuck, even just talking to Pinkie about all the fucked up things in the story, all the ways they could have changed things to make it better (or at least make the plot make more sense and less disgusting) and going over all the things I’ve addressed here in this review has triggered headache after headache.
This film is not fun. It’s not worth watching.
Once clips of it show up on YouTube, I’d encourage anyone curious to go watch those instead. That way you’re only exposing yourself to a couple minutes of toxicity instead of two hours. Because some scenes, especially anything showing off any of that garbage CGI, are genuinely hilarious. It’s just not worth sitting through all the shit to find those little worthwhile nuggets of entertainment. They’re just too few and far between.
Beyond that, just avoid this movie.
For your own sanity.
FINAL GRADE: R
Geez. I can’t believe that we’re barely into the new year and I’ve already given out my first fail…
Pinkie and I kind of already want to call it: Replicas is the worst movie of 2019. I wasn’t exaggerating at the beginning of the article in order to grab your attention. This is the WORST. The year only JUST fucking started, and I’d be hard pressed to think of anything that could possibly provide a worse experience than sitting through this fucking thing.
Then again, Secret Life of Pets 2 comes out this year…* shudder*.
In all seriousness though, if there is any film I see this year IN THEATRES that is worse than this movie then…God help me.
But that’s a problem for the far future.
In the near future, on the other hand, we’ll be revisiting my old rival. It’s been almost a month since I posted about this fucking nightmare. I’ve already dealt with one shitty thing this week, so let’s just go two-for-two, shall we?
Dark Nights: Metal, here I fucking come, baby.
Until next time.
- Thomas Middleditch, the guy who plays Ed, is genuinely good. He's the 15% for the acting score.
- Visuals are garbage - camerawork, lighting, CGI. All of it.
- Acting is garbage - none of the main cast (aside from Ed, and the kids sometimes) behave like fucking human beings.
- Story is garbage - the tone is wrong, the themes are wrong, the philosophy is wrong, the character are wrong, EVERYTHING IS WRONG.