Keanu Reeves clones his family in wildly uneven sci-fi tale

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Keanu Reeves, whose line deliveries have slowed to the point where he sounds like a record being played on the wrong speed, plays a neuroscientist in "Replicas," a thoroughly ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious sci-fi thriller. 

Reeves plays Bill, whose work is conducted at Bionyne, a biomedical research company in Puerto Rico. Bill is working on bringing the dead back to life by transferring their neural pathways into synthetic lifeforms — basically, downloading human brains into robot bodies. He does this by standing around in a room with futuristic headgear on saying things like "boot the mapping service" to his trusty assistant, Ed ("Silicon Valley's" Thomas Middleditch).

The experiments are a disaster and funding is running low. Naturally, Bill heads off for the weekend for a getaway with his family, wife Mona (Alice Eve) and their three children. When a car wreck kills his family and leaves only Bill living, Bill decides to clone his family — Ed has low-key been working on a 17-day human cloning process in his spare time — and proceed with life as usual. 

All of the questions surrounding this process — moral, ethical, scientific — are glossed over in Chad St. John's ("Peppermint") script, which feels like a term paper written on deadline. There are all sorts of interesting avenues "Replicas" could go down, none of which it chooses, instead coming off like a "Twilight Zone" episode written by frat bros who were half-paying attention while "Minority Report" streamed in the background.

"Replicas" is not without its laughs, even if they're at the expense of the film. For a bad movie, you could do a lot worse. Boot the mapping service, baby.

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama 

Replicas

GRADE: C-

Rated PG-13: for thematic material, violence, disturbing images, some nudity and sexual references

Running time: 107 minutes

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