Produced by Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures and directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Replicas is a 2018 science fiction film based on a short story by Stephane Hamel. The film, despite the presence in the role of the protagonist of a beloved actor of the caliber of Keanu Reevesachieved little commercial and critical success.
The replicas, indeed, produced with a whopping $30 million budget, earned just over $8 million at the global box office. Despite everything, the film deals with important issues, such as going beyond the limits of bioethics.
William Foster and Ed Whittle are both biomedical researchers and work for the Bionyne Corporation of Puerto Rico where they are trying to carry out a major project: to transfer the spirit of a dead soldier into an android with a strength greater than that of the man with the code name. Subject 345. Foster successfully captures the soldier’s neural map and transfers it to the android’s synthetic brain. The experiment, however, fails when the soldier rejects his new body and destroys it, dying again. Foster’s boss, Jones, tells him that if he can’t make Subject 345 work, the company’s shareholders will decide to shut down the project.
However, a tragedy is around the corner. Foster takes his wife Mona and their three children Sophie, Matt and Zoe on a boat. Along the way, however, all but William are killed in a car crash. Distraught but determined to resurrect his entire family, William convinces Ed to bring him the Bionyne equipment necessary to extract the neural maps of his loved ones and clone the replacement bodies for each of them. The man manages to extract their neural maps and tells Whittle to get rid of the “human” bodies. A first major obstacle stands in front of his “mission”: only three cloning pods are available, he must therefore choose a member of his family not to be “resurrected”.
He chooses Zoe, the youngest, and erases her memory from the neural maps of the other three. Whittle begins the seventeen-day cycle needed to create mature replacement clones for Foster’s family, revealing to him that he only has that amount of time to solve the problem of integrating neural maps into bodies. clones, which would otherwise end up deteriorating. aging much faster than a normal human body. The integration of the spirit into a biological clone represented phase two of the research project, to be resolved after the transfer to the android. Foster is forced to keep it a secret, as he and Whittle stole millions of dollars worth of Bionyne equipment by breaking bioethical boundaries. During the fateful seventeen days, William attempts to remove all evidence of Zoe’s existence from his home and attempts to explain his family’s absence from work, school, and social media contact by reason for illness.
When Foster notices his wife’s central nervous system reacting to his touch, he realizes that Subject 345 has failed because the spirit expects a connection to a biological body with heartbeat and breathing, not an artificial body. . He therefore understands that the transfer to the clones will be possible and that the failure of the android transfer can be solved by programming a mind-body interface made in such a way as to make the body of the android human. He successfully transfers the minds of his loved ones into cloned bodies, to return to work creating a synthetic mind-body interface. When the next corpse he receives has suffered too much brain damage to attempt another transfer for the official experiment, Foster saves his mind for the android transfer.
Meanwhile, Sophie has a nightmare about her mother’s death, but Mona discovers that Foster is trying to erase this event from Sophie’s mind. The man then confesses to them that they died in a car accident and then brought them back to life. The family soon ends up uncovering evidence of Zoe’s existence, and William is forced to admit that he couldn’t “save” her, trying to erase traces of her existence from their minds and the world. .
Jones confronts Foster and reveals he knows what he and Whittle did. He tells her that the research is not actually for medical purposes, but is being funded by the US government to provide a military weapon and that Foster’s family is an outstanding issue to be eliminated. Foster destroys the mind-body interface, disposes of Jones, and escapes, attempting to escape in a boat. Jones’ men capture Foster’s family. William joins Bionyne, where it is clear that Whittle “sold them out”.
Jones kills Whittle and forces Foster to complete Subject 345. Foster charges her mind into Subject 345, which kills Jones’ henchmen and injures her head. The two Fosters make a pact with Jones that he can live in a cloned body and get rich working with Foster-345, selling clones to very rich people hungry for a second life.
Foster is thus able to rebuild a new life with her family, including newly cloned baby Zoe.