How far would you go to bring loved ones back from the dead? The sci-fi thriller REPLICAS, opening on January 11, tackles that question. Keanu Reeves plays a distraught father who defies the laws of science in an attempt to reunite with his family. But at what cost?
This film is all about cloning. REPLICAS is a sci-fi thriller first and foremost, but questions about the ethics of cloning are behind much of the film’s action. The struggle to find answers is the sort of thing that could drive a person mad, and that’s why Keanu is the right man for this job.
A Scientist On A Mission
Reeves plays neuroscientist William Foster, who is working on a method to transport the human consciousness into a computer. His work gets sidetracked when his wife Mona (Alice Eve) and their three children are killed in a car accident. Grief-stricken, William makes the questionable decision many of us might make: He tries to resurrect his family using the technology available at the company he works for.
That could be a problem — or several problems, really. For one, the available tech only allows William to clone three people, but he lost four family members. That “Sophie’s choice” situation will weigh heavily on a man already broken by tragedy. Then there’s the question of ownership. The cloning tech belongs to a company, and William’s clones are a breakthrough, so the company thinks it owns them. Finally, while the new people are exact replicas of William’s family, they’re also individuals of their own… maybe they don’t love the scientist the way he loves them?
An Empathetic Hero
With all that in mind — and there’s plenty in REPLICAS we haven’t even mentioned, like the robot seen above — this is the sort of situation that could cause even a strong mind to snap. Reeves’s character has to hold it together through this twisty techno-thriller. We can’t think of anyone we’d rather watch make the attempt.
Keanu Reeves has a unique combination of qualities. He can project the image of an everyman even as he plays characters who are wildly beyond any reality we know. We’ve seen this in THE MATRIX and JOHN WICK films as well as in films like POINT BREAK and CONSTANTINE. He invites empathy but also projects an unshakable determination, all while helping us accept even the wildest ideas.
All of which makes Reeves the ideal lead for a film like REPLICAS. Actors don’t like to be typecast, but Reeves can lead a sci-fi thriller like few others. If REPLICAS goes to weird places — and the trailers suggest it does — he’s the ideal actor for the job.
REPLICAS kicks off a busy year for Reeves. He’ll reprise his role as John Wick for JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3, set to release in May. A month later, we’ll hear his voice in TOY STORY 4. The details of his first Pixar character are currently secret, but we’ll hope that, like most of the characters Reeves plays, he’ll appear as a toy that will stop at nothing to achieve his goals.
REPLICAS opens on January 11.