Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Replicant (2001) * * *

Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Rooker, Catherine Dent

Directed By Ringo Lam

Jean-Claude Van Damme does double duty again in a ridiculous but admittedly compelling 6th Day-like clone movie about government agents cloning a serial killer and then using said clone to track the serial killer down, while hinting at perhaps what might happen if the clone becomes like the killer he was cloned from. In the hands of someone other than Hong Kong action specialist this would’ve been an absurd and terrible movie that wouldn’t make sense and would in fact be just another action flick dressed up as science fiction, but thanks to Ringo Lam’s sturdy hand, the film actually surprisingly goes for character development, the fight sequences and chases are choreographed for grittiness and Lam gets impressive performances from Van Damme and Rooker. Indeed one sees Rooker in a lot of roles, and in one of his rare starring protagonist role, Rooker is most impressive when playing the play by his own rules cop, Van Damme works even better and in doing so their chemistry as well as the impending question regarding whether the replicant will turn out like the original is ultimately what gives this more texture to the proceedings than one would expect. If anything else, it fully takes advantage of the Van Damme Vs Van Damme idea and features epic fisticuffs between Van Damme and well Van Damme.

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