Replicant (2001) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
104 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
as a retired Van Damme fan, I was actually really surprised.
Aylmer26 April 2003
I used to be Jean-Claude Van Damme's biggest fan back when I was 13 or so, having seen HARD TARGET on video and then watching every subsequent Van Damme movie up to MAXIMUM RISK (which for some reason I just didn't feel like watching). As it would turn out, I didn't end up seeing any more of his work for the next five years or so, half because it just sounded awful (UNIVERSAL SOLDIER 2) and half because it didn't make it to the theater. Now I'm in video stores all the time seeing flicks like LEGIONNAIRE, DERAILED, and DESERT HEAT, wondering "when did that come out?". They just seem to spring up without warning. REPLICANT was one of those, and I laughed when I first saw the poster in a video store, immediately assuming it was just some awful BLADE RUNNER rip-off.

That said, I finally broke down after two years and rented it based on all the positive stuff I've heard, and I'll say I'll have to go with the flow on this one - it's surprisingly good! Van Damme looks a bit older but he's still in great shape and has more energy than your typical 14-year-old. The problem was that his acting has usually been so stiff that it's hard to root for him as the good guy (watching SUDDEN DEATH I actually was hoping the bad guys would win) - not the case with this movie.

No, believe it or not, Van Damme actually displays an amazing, intriguing, and very believable performance (or is it one?) playing the moronic and childish clone. Michael Rooker, the other reason I broke down and rented this movie, has some really great scenes like when he gets so angered by a call from the psycho-killer that he throws the phone on the ground and smashes it into a million pieces. Rooker also looks a great deal younger and in better shape than in THE REPLACEMENT KILLERS or THE BONE COLLECTOR, playing a more youthfully-minded loner as opposed to a tired old sheriff or something. While this film has a really familiar concept, a lot of those "oh god that's dumb!" moments, and some pretty unmotivated fight scenes (why have the scene where he beats up all the government types in the abandoned building - why were they even there in the first place?), it's really good considering they had a great deal less than $10 million to make this movie, about half of what it would cost to even hire Schwarzenegger to do a film. Take this movie and the extremely similar THE 6TH DAY and run them side by side, and it's almost sad how much better Van Damme's acting is, how much better the cloning concept is handled, and how surprisingly "fresh" everything seems.

Van Damme really does a good job and actually made me care about his character (the clone one, anyway). The best scenes in the movie though have to be Van Damme as the evil twin cutting a swarth of destruction around the city - like kicking old ladies, shooting corpses, or (my favorite) when he shoots the driver of a stopped car he's running past in an intersection FOR NO REASON! If actions spoke louder than words, Jean-Claude would have at least one Academy Award.

Well worth a rental for anyone actually interested in this movie enough to find themselves reading this.
53 out of 59 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
At least it's better than Knock Off and Universal Soldier 2
Replicant stars Van Damme as a killer who is cloned by scientists so that the clone helps capture him.

Van Damme scores his best since Sudden Death in this better than average DTV movie. Ringo Lam delivers some great action scenes and explots Van Damme's physical ability to great affect making Replicant a good movie.

Overall Replicant would have been better if it wasn't so long but in anycase Replicant is a nice change of pace for the muscles from brussels. *** (Out of four)
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very different!
PlayerSS19 February 2003
This was very different for a Van Damme movie. Even though this is like the 100th time Van Damme has done the double role thing, this is the best out of them. Van Damme really plays his roles well in this one. I don't really like Michael Rooker as an actor, but he does well with what he is given. Some of the characters are underdeveloped, but the movie still is decent.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Awesome Van Damme Movie!!!
dvdmrp26 January 2002
I have always been a fan of Van Damme. I was one of the few who enjoyed his theatrical movies, and one of the few who like or have seen his DTV movies. In the past few years I was getting nervous. Sure I liked Van Damme, but some of the recent movies were getting kinda bad. Now I have only seen 1 or 2 truly bad movies, I usually like all movies that I see, because most of them have a great scene here or there. Lately some of the VD flicks were even getting kinda bad to me. I liked Universal Solder 2 but it was pretty bad when compared to his other flicks. I was a little leary about Replicant, but after the first few minuted I knew that everything would be OK.

I really enjoyed this movie! The plot was very cool and it kept you thinking and wondering what would happen next. Also Van Damme really acts in this movie!!! Unlike his other movies where he just kicks and punches to the plot he actually does some good acting. I really felt for the "Replicant." Unlike some movies that I have watched recently, this movie really held my attention. Uusually I am checking my watch but not this time.

To sum it up, I reallly think that you should see this movie. If you are a Van Damme fanatic you MUST see this. And if you are a Van Damme hater you Must see this. It is just that good. 10/10 best Van Damme movie ever!
12 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good action, Good plot, Good story, Good movie
Dragon_16 December 2001
Replicant is a movie where a mask murderer goes on crime sprees killing innocent women. Not only that, this sick murderer (Jean-Claude) actually takes pictures of these sick crimes. That's where Jake comes in (Michael Rooker), Jake is a undercover cop who has been chasing Garrett (the murderer) for 3 years, after one particular night he calls it quits and retires from the force at a early age. After he starts getting on with his life he gets an insulting call from Garrett and is given the opportunity by the CIA to help them bring down the murderer. He accepts and heads down the there headquarters. He finds out that they aren't actually the CIA, their Special Forces Unit and they have a DNA sample of the killer and they will use that to create a Replicant (clone) of the murderer. After many tests they are finally able to put the Replicant out of hibernation and into the real world.

The Replicant is suppose to have the brain capabilities of a 40 year old (the murderers approximate age) and if given enough time, it could remember how exactly the murderer went about the killings, how he escaped, who he is, and where he lives, and that's what they want to get out of him. But the Replicant is like a baby, he needs to learn how to eat sleep, walk, talk, everything. That's where Jake comes in again, Jake is basically suppose to baby sit the Replicant until he can remember the crimes. The Replicant grows to care for and accept Jake, while he doesn't trust anyone else.

During the movie we find out more about the murderer and kind of get an inside scoop of how this murderer lives and why he's doing all these killings. I'm not going to spoil it for you but let me tell you, this guy is a sick puppy, anyone who has watched Van Damme movies in the past will be shocked at the role he's playing now. The Replicant meets up with the murderer a few times and each time the Replicant starts to bond with the murderer, since he can think how the murderer thinks, and given enough time, he could read the murderers mind completely. At first the murderer doesn't know who the Replicant is but then he eventually finds out.

The Replicant is not like many creatures, it copies what people do and say, in one part of the movie where they try to apprehend the Replicant they end up losing, why? Because anything you show him he learns, if you punch him he learns the exact punch you did, if you put him in a head lock he learns that exact head lock, and that's what he used to defeat them. I'm still not going to spoil all the movie but Jake and the Replicant track the murderer down many times, and each time the murderer tricks the Replicant into thinking that their brothers and that Jake is the enemy, The Replicant starts to show his true color by allowing the murderer to escape and apprehending Jake at that. But then the Replicant learns the murderers true colors and turns on the him and that's what allows Jake and The Replicant to defeat this sick murderer.

The movie had a tight budget but it doesn't show it at all. Good special effects, good action, good plot, good story. Good Movie.
25 out of 39 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Better Quality DTV Product
tarbosh2200012 May 2010
Unlike Seagal's crop of DTV crud, Van Damme has been making a very strong effort to make his releases better. "Replicant" is one of them. This is the fourth movie that Van Damme has been in where he plays two people. (See also: "Double Impact", "Maximum Risk", and "Timecop") I wonder if that's in his contract. The plot is: A serial killer named "The Torch" (Van Damme) is on the loose. Rogue cop Jake Riley (Rooker) has to stop him. When "Torch" leaves one of his strands of hair at the crime scene, the idea is to clone him and stop him.

Van Damme plays the clone like a baby. He has to learn to speak, walk and fight. It's a very good performance. Michael Rooker puts in his usual gruff performance. Ringo Lam directs the action scenes with a lot of style and energy. The climatic fight between both clones is fun but we've seen it before.

"Replicant" is definitely worth seeing. The fans will enjoy it and non-fans I think will be surprised by Van Damme's performance.

For more insanity, please visit
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Entertaining and weird B-movie-mess
davidturgay9 June 2003
I have to admit that "Replicant" succeeded in surprising me quite a few times, which is surprising itself since I wasn't ready for any surprise in a direct-to-video-van Damme-movie. But this movie is not like your average van Damme-stupidity. In some way this is good, in another way it is not.

What I was hoping for was 90 minutes of fun that makes me laugh very loud the way "Double Team" or "Streetfighter" managed to do. I was afraid of seeing 90 minutes of boring stupid action with only few unintentional laughs, like "The Quest" or "Knock Off". "Replicant" walks on a thin line between those extremes.

Well, it is the third movie in which van Damme appears in two roles at the same time and it is a strange record for an action star. At first we see the bad guy, a serial killer with long hair who kills mothers by killing and then burning them. He does this because his mother used to call him "bad boy" and once almost burned him alive. Michael Rooker plays the cop who tries to catch the killer and the movie sometimes suggests that the killer also plays the typical "serial killer-movie game", in which the killer seems to kill just for the cop who chases him. But this is just a sidenote in the film whereas it is a major point that Rooker is very obsessed in finding the killer. Where this obsession comes from is never explained and this contributes to a lot of the weird aspects of the film.

One day after Rooker again managed NOT to catch the killer some government guys approach him and make an interesting offer. They want to clone the killer and try to catch him with the memories of the real killer in the clone's brain (that's what I think is their plan). The way the "clone"-thing is introduced must be seen to be believed. We never get the feeling that the movie plays in the future and neither the science guys nor Rooker as the cop make a big deal of simply cloning another person for an investigation. When Rooker is told about the clone idea his reaction does not exist. He simply accepts not questioning for a mili-second what is going on. Even more strange is the fact that the government guys even think of trusting Rooker to take care of the clone. And for no reason at all Rooker uses this trust by deceiving them time after time, by refusing to cooperate but these "National Security" guys never mind at all. Neither do Rooker's relatives and partners who very very rarely wonder why he has a new pet and why it looks like the serial killer everyone's looking for?

It may seem strange to go into such deep plot discussions but the movie plays so seriously that it's hard not to do. That's the weird thing here: the film only scarcely tries to go for cheap effects and shortcuts. For a van Damme movie the action is very rare and except maybe two scenes not very spectacular.

And then there is van Damme's performance as the clone. The clone, who is never referred to with any name, seems like a mixture between a retard and Jackie Chan. He hardly speaks, looks bewildered and confused but can also swing himself around pipes a dozen times, jump around like a monkey and fight like a karate dog. I'm not quite sure where he has the fighting abilities from and why they developed so much better than his thinking abilities. To say the least, it is an interesting performance but it also produces some laughs especially because of the way Rooker treats him.

Rooker has the strangest character here, being obsessed with a case for no reason, cruel to the only person who can help him and sometimes very stupid. For example when he first hunts the killer and simply lets him drive away while dozens of policemen in police cars arrive and he simply doesn't mind telling them that the killer has just been around the corner one second ago.

There are a lot of strange things in this movie but most of them work somehow and make it actually very entertaining. An action scene with an ambulance is both ridiculous and effective. A scene with the clone spending time with a prostitute is not working at all and feels contrived and unnecessary. Some things are simply unexpected, for example the cruelty of the killer when he is not actually killing. He shoots innocent bystanders for no reason and in a scene in a hospital his violence becomes comic-like when he kicks nurses and hits wheelchair patients with the ambulance. In one scene Rooker has to throw his weapon away because he is threatened to get killed and for no reason he throws it in a bucket of blood. Later the clone has to fetch it out of there. And there is a scene in the killer's apartment that questions his motivation, the logic of computers and plot and the the abilities of the clone.

"Replicant" is a B-movie, that is for sure, but in an unexpected way it is a good one, entertaining, not too much over the top and somehow still convincing. Nevertheless the final scene gets a big laugh for its unbelievable silliness both in plot logic and music choice. And why we see that picture during the end credits is beyond me. Don't expect another "Double Team" but don't expect anything else.
15 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
how can it get better than this?
Pkmaiden13 May 2003
Replicant is one of the best films by Van damme, Ringo Lam has done a great job with this picture. Van Damme plays the retarded replicant, and the serial killer Torch. I have never seen anyone play retarded better then Van damme in this film. The fun is that the retard can figth. how anyone can dislike this film i really don`t understand. It don`t get better than this. i know what your thinking... he`s just a stupid die hard van damme fan... yes i am.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Encountering Self
tedg14 June 2005
I think there is a Zen of encountering movies, not unlike encountering people. You need to get beyond the fact that they are incompetent at carrying who they are and dig into the essence of the person.

Art is all in the carrying, I think so you might find yourself admiring something that is incompetent, unartful, even repellently stupid if it has an engaging heart.

This disaster of a movie has an interesting kernel I think. It is only a disaster because the director and support crew thought that its center was in the thud of flesh between two brutes, a simple serial killer and a simpler cop. But you the viewer have the power to relocate that center to the encounter with self.

(For those who don't know the story, evil killer exists. Shadowy federal agency makes a clone and lends it to the discalced cop who is on the case. The cone has "memories" that are used to track the killer. The clone "grows")

Set aside the bizarre notion of the US government fighting terrorists by making more of them from scratch. (Insert your own political commentary here.) And set aside the notion that memories convey by genetics. The cool idea here, something like in "Faceoff" or "Purple Rose" or "Last Action Hero," or even "Thirteenth Floor." is that a personal stumbling through life has his stumbles fabricated from blows from the world, but has the ability to see them from the outside.

Encountering self is an old idea... in film and literature, and much deeper and more clever notions have been spun than this. But this ain't bad, at least in theory. And for my taste Van Damme is no worse than Li or Arnie and unless you get a real actor everyone else is roughly as good.

If they could just have more Schrader and less Harlin.

Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
10 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
great action flick
dunny13 April 2002
Van Damme is in top form in this action film, boasting more action then all of Jet Lis Hollywood offerings it makes me wonder why this never hit the pictures in the UK! Van Damme plays two roles (again!) but this time one of them is a serial killer! The action is good, the story is good, the movie is it!
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Van Damme is a genetic clone on a hunt for serial killer - his first and best direct-to-video flicks
rambofan4life7 December 2018
This is the best of Jean-Claude Van Damme direct-to-video flicks he did, I mean his best performances on his first Direct-to-video yet. Replicant is 2001 solid good-entertaining action thriller. It is Van Damme's first movie after 2 years absence. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays double roles as Edward "The Torch" Garrotte the serial killer who kills young mom's and genetic clone version of "The Torch" on a hunt for a serial killer his original version in this sci-fi action-thriller. It is one of my favorite direct-to-video from Van Damme flicks I love this film to death. I rented Replicant on VHS tape in 2002 in my high school years I love it than and I love it now.

Michael Rooker plays Det. Jake Riley on hunt for "The Torch" with the use of a genetic double (also played by Van Damme), a cop has to not only find the killer...but to also make sure that the clone doesn't follow in his original's footsteps. Michael Rooker was also in Cliffhanger as support role, Renegade Force a lead cop, The Replacement Killers and of course Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2. I love Det. Jake Riley his character in which he plays another solid role. Det. Jake Riley is a likable hero, he saves a baby and I also support him in his decision not to trust the clone, because it is also the version of the killer and "The Torch" manipulated with the clone.

It is the second collaboration between Jean-Claude Van Damme and Hong Kong film director Ringo Lam the first time they worked on Maximum Risk I reviewed that film. This was the third time seining Van Damme playing dual roles the first time was in Double Impact and second time in Maximum Risk.

What I mean was Jean-Claude Van Damme's best performance direct-to-video flicks. Because he played 2 roles in the same time. I love his character Edward "The Torch" Garrotte I love his acting performance. You can see Van Damme using his martial arts and his spin kicks on cooks in the kitchen. He goes in a bar and beats janitors and fights with his version "the clone." Van Damme uses spin kicks on his genetic clone. You have a van chase and u can see some of the stunt doubles for Rooker and Van Damme in which, stunt work was really dangerous. I love bond between Van Damme and Rooker. I love the fight scenes between the clone and "The Torch". I love in which the clone (Van Damme) protects that call girl from her pimp and his bodyguards, I love the final and the happy ending.

Replicant is a solid good action thriller from 2001 was the first direct-to-video flick Van Damme did in 2001. I have this film on Blu-ray it was second direction from Hong Kong director Ringo Lam and he did a good job directing this movie. I love Van Damme in Black Jacket I just love everything about the movie. I recommend this movie too Van Damme fans.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Nice Movie.
lucas1969110 June 2001
I really liked this movie i watched it a Month ago it was really a nice movie good story and Van-Damn played good in this movie. I really enjoyed this movie was a good movie about a Replicant which wasn't useful at first then became more useful to catch the serial killer also played as Van-Damn. I think when it does come out in theatres go watch it great movie i enjoyed it.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
18/M/UK MAJOR Van Dammage!
Mnoochi21 November 2001
hi every1, well, im a major Van Damme fan, and i can honestly say that this is one of the best Jean-Claude Van Damme films that I have ever seen! I reckon that its got a great story line, a good cast of characters, and the fight sequences where Van Damme fights Van Damme are excellent, they look totally real!It's good to see Van Damme gettin back on his feet and doin this wicked movie, lets just hope that his up-coming movies 'The Monk' and 'The Order' are as good, if not better! I rate this movie 10/10!! 100%!!!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
an incredible film!! jcvd has turned into a great actor!(i know!?)
laudo-13 November 2001
this film was amazing ,i have always been a van damme fan.but to be honest his last few films have been really bad,however i did think he delivered a good performance in desert heat (you could see he was trying his hand at acting) well anyway,this film was incredible,i had no idea jean claude could give a performance like this,he portrays the clone effectively and plays the serial killer (torch)brilliantly,good stuff.i think jcvd called on his own life experience with drugs and alcohol to show his two sides,the innocent simple side to vandamme which the public see,i think he used this to show the emotion of the replicant,and his dark side with the drugs and alcohol which the public dont see,i think he used this to portray the serial killers rage and anger.its just good how jcvd came off the drugs and got himself back into fantastic shape! hes 41 but looks about 31! this film had good direction by lam and a rock hard performance by heavyweight michael rooker,a great film,buy it,rent it,just see it!!
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
See this movie!!!!!
movieman5519 October 2001
this is by far JCVD's best movie. The script is pretty good, JCVD is two great performances(especially the one as the replicant). Mike Rooker is also good as the hard edged cop.The direction of Ringo Lam also puts this film over the top as does the cinematography. I also must say that editing also gives this film a really good pace which never really lets up. The only down side to this is that some charactater development(Yes i am talking about character development in a vandamme movie)could have been a little better, you will see what i mean if you watch the deleted scenes on the dvd. The last thing i want to say is that i cant believe artisan put this straight to video. it deserved to been seen on the big screen. So good story,good acting, and great action sequences make this a must see movie
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
My cousin is a little... special
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews21 November 2012
Jake(Rooker, enjoyable to watch as usual) is a cop, obsessed with a serial killer(Van Damme, who, like we see in The Expendables 2, is a much better villain than hero), Torch(so named because of his MO... he uses a knife. ...OK, yeah, it's fire, obviously), who in turn stalks him, because films like Se7en made money. Government agents have the latter cloned(no, no, wait! It... it gets even better!), since they were going to hunt down terrorists like that(!), and, as we all know, "genetics carry memories"(I *told* you! Didn't I?). The best part about the latter is that it's just... slung out there(accompanied by the words "science has proved", which I think is one of those sayings that people use when they know that it just ain't so, like "no offense"). It's like they have it said out loud just to see if it gets any stupider like that, if it gets worse than it looks on the page of the screenplay. How is this going to help? ...who said it would, they just wanted two of him, like in Double Impact(it took a decade to forget why it was so wrong the first time). No, I'm kidding. There's a psychic link between the two. Duh! At this point in reading this, I can only imagine you're bleeding from the ear from the concentrated idiocy of the core concept, so let's not dwell on that any longer. The titular Replicant(yes, yes, that's... very cute, you watched Blade Runner, we get it) is like a child(or possibly even less mentally adept... perhaps that's just JCVD's vacant expression... to be fair, he does well in this role, as well, and the shift between the two is seamless), and our other lead has to take care of him, and this is where it gets interesting, as there is a mirroring, and the nature vs. nurture debate is handled, without being preachy(not that it's entirely subtle, either). Acting is decent. The action is OK, though it barely really needed to be the Belgian Karate champ in the dual role - he gets to do some of those kicks we like to see, sure, but that seems like the afterthought, as he mostly doesn't go up against anyone skillful(he's mostly taking on regular people... and for some reason, he at one point uses a vacuum cleaner as a weapon... no, really). Who looks at him and thinks "mass murderer"? At best, it is quite tense and fast-paced, such as the climax and at least one of the chases. It goes for usual genre clich├ęs(even the relatively recent one of "unmotivated personal endangerment by supposedly professional protagonist"), and we get a one-liner or two that are as dumb as they are uninspired. Ringo Lam, who also helmed Maximum Risk, directs this(and gets us into it, at times, using excitement to distract from... well, scroll back up and see it again, if you've regained your senses and blocked it out), presumably because he was disappointed that his last "two of Jean-Claude" flick didn't have them both featured, and alive, at the same time(on that, while the majority of the tricks to make it look like there's two of him are as unconvincing as his usual performance, there are several effective bits). There is some moderate to strong language, bloody violence and disturbing content as well as a little sexuality(no nudity, and mostly audio) in this. I recommend this to fans of its stars. 5/10
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A good film. 7/10
scottrob3629 December 2003
When i watched the film for the first time i was impressed. It has a simple but effective story with some decent action and some one liners which you expect for a Van Damme vehicle. If this film would have been brought out about 10years ago when Van Damme was at the peak of his success then this would have been a hit. Unfortunately for him back then he went off the rails and made some pretty poor movies, but if his keeps this form up then he make get a second chance to make it big again.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Bizarre acting stretch for Van Damme.
gridoon18 August 2003
Van Damme is surprisingly convincing in both of his roles (if you thought you could never take him seriously as a serial killer, this may prove you wrong), and the film is efficiently directed by Ringo Lam, who choreographs some high-powered action sequences and one or two outstanding set pieces. But the story is rather poorly thought-out (the clone supposedly helps the cop find the killer, but he isn't really very helpful and usually the killer finds them first), and some scenes are gratuitously harsh and violent. Oh, and the whole serial killer "thing" is getting kind of tired and overused lately, don't you think? (**)
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An original Van Damme movie
davideo-27 January 2002
STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

To start with,don't be put off by the initial fact that this re-teams the Muscles from Brussells with HK director Ringo Lam,with whom he also made the rather poor Maximum Risk,Replicant is in an altogether different ball game.An original,inventive and intriguing flick,which works on nearly all the levels it sets out to.The two Van Dammes thing is admittently getting a little tiresome,but it really does give the Belgian one ample opportunity to show off his neurtured acting skills here,playing dual roles as both the good guy and the bad guy,and really getting into the emotions of each.The dialogue's a little tacky and the build-up's somewhat sprewed,but you get all you expected and even a little more.On the basis of this,Lam/Van Damme's upcoming feature The Monk should be fine viewing.****
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Deeper Van Damme!
uds32 May 2002
Jean-Claude's 26th movie - a straight-to-video release which deserves far better. One of those films you either like or dismiss out of sight on gut instinct. Fact is, its one of his best - quite as good as NOWHERE TO RUN or MAXIMUM RISK, perhaps shy of TIMECOP which is by far his best effort.

This is perhaps Van Damme's best "acting" to date. With far less high kicks and macho mannerisms than is his standard fare, he offers virtually an antihero here and it works exceptionally well if you're prepared to watch the film and not decry its seeming lack of mindless violence.

Van Damme plays the twin roles (a la SUDDEN IMPACT) of serial killer "The Torch" and his genetically engineered clone, assigned to former cop Michael Rooker who has been on the trail of the Torch for years. Bred in a laboratory, the cloned Van Damme has no knowledge beyond that he is permitted to experience at the (often brutal) hands of his keeper.. Rooker! Many of these scenes show an exceptionally vulnerable and moving side to the Van Damme personna. Those who criticised the flick for its lack of action, catatonic plot and dearth of imagination are simply to be pitied for their own limited awareness.

The action sequences towards the conclusion are outstandingly filmed, the fight choreography is exceptional and the budget constraints (as someone so correctly pointed out) do not show at all. Ringo Lam's direction is spot on and all up what you have here is a first-rate actioner requiring some cerebral input on the part of the viewer, which is possibly what has led to many of the childish, inappropriate and absurdly irrelevant comments evidenced in the accompanying reviews.

If you have an awareness of the human condition and an interest in social values, it is likely you will find something in this flick of value to you!
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Jean-Claude Van Damme is seeing double....... again
mack317511 March 2002
People will probably start thinking that Jean-Claude Van Damme really does have a twin brother even after Double Impact and Maximum Risk. He gave real good performance has a serial killer called The Torch. Who is getting hard to catch. A frustrated cop [Michael Rooker] agrees with a bunch of scientists who have cloned the killer[also Van Damme], to take the confused clone under his wing. In order to catch the Torch. Like Jet Li in The One, Jean Claude Van Damme plays good and evil perfectly. For once he did some really good acting. It also has some good martial arts scene. Not much on action, But still good.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good for its standards
mattymatt4ever18 January 2002
I don't usually rent direct-to-video movies, but I like Van Damme and I almost always enjoy his work. This is pretty much a predictable story with plot-holes-a-plenty, but you just have to go along for the ride. Michael Rooker is another cool actor, and he's great as the no-nonsense police detective who will stop at nothing to nab this serial killer. The visual style is far from outstanding--especially for a Hong Kong director--but the action sequences are well-choreographed and lots of fun to watch. There's just a certain enjoyment you get out of watching two guys--of the same identity--beat the crap out of each other. The only thing I could've asked for was a taste of Van Damme's dry sense of humor. That's another joy of watching his films. Just like Arnold Schwarzenegger (though Arnie's much funnier) he usually has something humorous to say after he knocks someone out. But since he was either playing a serial killer or his clone (for which he has very few lines) that didn't seem appropriate. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the film and for one that went straight to video, I have to say it's amazingly above average. This may sound corny, but I had a Damme good time!

My score: 7 (out of 10)
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Finally, a JCVD Flick Worthy of Theatrical Release!
The Terminator5 January 2002
We all know that Van Damme has made some good movies, none that are really memorable but at least entertaining. Sadly, he is more renowned for his bad films - the late nineties saw a string of them: Double Team, Knock Off, Universal Soldier 2, Desert Heat. And, as much as I like the guy, he got his just deserts when they started to be released Direct-to-Video. However, when a film like Replicant comes along, this is where the tragedy really happens. It deserves sooooo much more credit. Now, by no means is Replicant Oscar winning material, far from it actually, but it is nevertheless a gripping, original flick. For one of the first times in a JCVD film, we really feel pity for a character - Replicant, as he is constantly beaten up and abused. Van Dammes acting as the clone is fantastic as is his portrayal of The Torch. The film has some fantastic stuntwork, from the incredibly realistic destruction of the Torch's apartment to the ambulance chase between the same guy and Jake (Michael Rooker). I honestly believe that this film is worthy of a wide theatrical release, it's just a shame it never happened as this truly marks the comeback for JCVD.

To conclude, Replicant is a very dark, sometimes unsettling thriller that really draws you into the action. It takes a while to get going but the ending is fantastic. Performances all round were good and the action scenes were quite simply beautiful. It just seems like it's too little too late for the Muscles from Brussels...
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
1 of Van Damme's best!
moviecollector22 December 2001
I really enjoyed this movie. It is Van Damme's darkest film. He plays such a cruel villain & such an innocent replicant. His acting is very good as well. U just got 2 feel 4 the replicant sometimes when he is put in danger. Michael Rooker does a good job as the cop assigned to protect the replicant. I suggest everyone see this, 2 see Van Damme in 1 of his best acting roles since Legionnaire, & 2 see him battle himself. This is 1 of Van Damme's best films since Timecop.
2 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Far from great, but still more decent than one might expect.
Hey_Sweden28 July 2018
Jean-Claude Van Damme sure believes in that adage of "the more Van Damme, the merrier". Also see "Maximum Risk" and "Double Impact" for examples of movies in which you got double the dose of Van Damme for your money. Here he plays both a sick serial killer, nicknamed The Torch, who has deep-seated mommy issues, and the result of a cutting-edge government program. This program creates genetic doubles of characters like The Torch for the purpose of getting inside their heads / memories / thought patterns. Or some such nonsense. The hard-driving former homicide detective put in charge of the child-like Replicant is grim-faced Jake Riley (Michael Rooker). Unsurprisingly, the Replicant has more of a sense of decency, so obviously he's not an *exact* copy of the psycho. Inevitably, the fight will be on.

Filmed in Canada, under the guidance of a capable director, Ringo Lam, who also worked with Van Damme on "Maximum Risk", this is rather routine entertainment, but it's watchable enough. Watching JCVD play these differing characters is basically fun, as it was in "Double Impact", and the martial arts / action icon clearly is enjoying himself as the psycho, decked out in greasy wig and leather jacket. Rooker typically adds some value with his usual patented coiled-spring intensity. The rest of the cast are so-so no-names, although Marnie Alton is delectable as your standard-issue "hooker with a heart of gold". JCVD fans need not fret, as you do get to see him strut his stuff in action and fight scenes, and it will create some amusement watching him attempt to delineate the mentally slow but good-hearted Replicant.

Overall, it's passable, although I'm sure it's far from Van Dammes' worst. It does go on for a bit (clocking in at 101 minutes), but there's still enough hard-edged violence and explosions to help combat short attention spans.

Six out of 10.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed