Watching REPLIKATOR is like being brainwashed with audiotapes of Tom Clancy novels while studying for a final exam on how to build your own android. This apparently earnest attempt to manufacture sophisticated sci-fi on the order of BLADE RUNNER is undone by incessant technobabble,
confusing direction, and misguided comic relief.
With his boss, Cecilia Masters (Janet Bailey), biodesigner Ludo Ludovic (Michael St. Gerard) is on the verge of successfully replicating human beings. At a rival firm, Zyklor Inc., evil head honcho Byron Scott (Ron Lea) wants his ace biodesigner, Kathy Moskow (Brigitte Bako), to rush ahead with
a human trial. To ensure Zyklor's first place finish, Scott's guards co-opt Ludo's assistant, John Cheever (Peter Outerbridge), and then murder Cecilia, framing Ludo for the crime. Ludo manages to carry out his replication experiment, yielding an android which is identical with its creator, except
that it lacks a conscience and has a short life-span. The scientist is then captured by the Intersec police. Inspector Valiant (Ned Beatty) believes Ludo's claims of innocence and quickly deduces that Scott masterminded the lab murders and that Ludo's evil twin is now running amok. He's constantly
thwarted by his Intersec superior, Chief Rinehart (David Hemblen), who's in cahoots with Scott in a plot to build a race of supermen.
After Kathy and her aide Lena (Lisa Howard) are canned by Scott for refusing to proceed with human duplications, Kathy teams up with Valiant to extricate ex-boyfriend Ludo from Scott's frame-up. Meanwhile, the deranged clone persuades Scott to appoint him head of Zyklor's replication program. By
the time the replicant begins a sadistic crime spree, Valiant has sprung Ludo, who joins with Kathy to disrupt Scott's plans for world conquest. At Zyklor, the deteriorating clone hooks up Scott to a virtual reality device, forcing him to relive the experience of being buried alive over and over.
Chief Rinehart sets up Scott to take the fall and blows up the Zyklor building; Valiant barely escapes annihilation. Although wounded fighting with his clone, Ludo pursues him in a helicopter duel, which climaxes when the replicant's complete destabilization causes him to explode. Ludo is proved
innocent, and Scott's Hitlerian goals are scotched.
REPLIKATOR is awash in futuristic, pseudo-scientific cant, but story construction and pacing are fairly primitive. In equal parts, it's crime drama, sci-fi admonishment, media satire, and rehash of 1984. Little drama is extracted from the good/evil duality of the bioscientist and his instant
twin; the film touches on Frankenstein themes only to discard them in favor of routine sleuthing and stale romantic conflicts. Indeed, the screenplay is much too enamored of its virtual reality games to bother with efficient thrill-making, let alone gothic horror. Murky, confusing direction only
compounds these narrative weaknesses. (Graphic violence, extreme profanity, extensive nudity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Watching REPLIKATOR is like being brainwashed with audiotapes of Tom Clancy novels while studying for a final exam on how to build your own android. This apparently earnest attempt to manufacture sophisticated sci-fi on the order of BLADE RUNNER is undone… (more)