WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Jeffrey Nachmanoff's Replicas, in theaters now.
The new sci-fi thriller Replicas follows brilliant neuroscientist William Foster (Keanu Reeves), who's pursuing the transfer of the human consciousness into a computer when tragedy strikes, and he loses his wife and three children in a car accident. Heartbroken, he encourages his colleague at biomedical company Bionyne, Ed (Thomas Middleditch), to help resurrect his family. Using Will's neural implant technology and Ed's cloning expertise, they regenerate Will's wife and two of their children, and transfer their consciousness into regrown bodies.
What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse, as the scientists attempt to cover up the deaths and hide their scheme from Bionyne, which results in a life-changing finale.
THE JIG IS UP
After Will's wife, Mona (Alice Eve), catches him altering their daughter Sophie's memories of the accident, he confesses what he did. He also admits that because they didn't have the equipment to bring the youngest child, Zoe, back to life, he and Ed erased her from the family's memories. They eventually reconcile, but at dinner, Will's boss Jones (John Ortiz) interrupts for a quick meeting. He reveals he knows what went on, and that he was allowing Will and Ed to proceed, only so he could monitor their chances of success. Now that he's aware of what their tech can do, he urges Will to kill his family because they committed a crime, which could endanger Bionyne. More so, his family is the company of the property, so if Will doesn't kill them, Jones' goons will.
Another bombshell comes when Jones reveals Bionyne isn't interested in healing veterans with this new technology. It's a defense-industry company, which intends to use Will's research to upload pilots' consciousness into drones, hackers into viruses, and so on, effectively making the human mind a digital weapon of mass destruction. However, Will barters with Jones, revealing that the only way to trick the clone and the mind into believing they're one is through a special algorithm he created that must be part of the neural upload. However, rather than turn it over, Will destroys the software, knocks out Jones, and tries to escape with his family.
THE BIG TRANSACTION
Jones' thugs kidnap Will's family and take them to Bionyne, where he's holding Ed, who sold out Will after being threatened with jail. When Will arrives, Jones kills Ed just to emphasize his point: Recreate the algorithm, or else.
However, Will pulls a fast one, and instead implants his own consciousness (which he stored on his work drive when he created the algorithm) into the robot he's been using for his experiments, Subject 345. With the scientist's mind transferred with the algorithm into 345, the robot becomes Will 2.0 and acts as the equalizer, taking out Jones' men. In the melee, Jones is mortally wounded, but to ensure Bionyne stops coming after his family, Will brokers a new deal in which Will 2.0 stores Jones' consciousness before he dies.
The film ends with Will's family on another island, vacationing. They receive a happy ending, as he brings Zoe to them, confirming that Will 2.0 cloned her for them. But the big twist occurs in the final scene, as a reborn Jones is shown in Dubai, where he and Will 2.0, decked out in a business suit, are now peddling their technology. They're offering old, dying millionaires the chance to upload their minds into new, younger clone bodies, thus cracking the secret to immortality with the mind living on forever.
Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff from a script by Chad St. John, Replicas stars Keanu Reeves, Alice Eve, Thomas Middleditch, John Ortiz, Emjay Anthony, Emily Alyn Lind, Aria Leabu and Nyasha Hatendi.