Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Again I have no idea how these movies come my way. Take this movie ‘Repli-Kate’ for instance since somehow it found its way into my Netflix cue, and since I’m pretty sure I’m the only person with access to my Netflix I had to be the one who placed it in there. So I come home see the envelope on the floor under the mail chute, open it, read the synopsis and wonder why in the HELL did I place this in my cue? Plus it’s like six years old. But as I have said before the good thing about Direct to Video, and I’m guessing ‘Repli-Kate’ was Direct to Video, is that there is no statute of limitations on its freshness and despite the fact that this movie is like ancient, all things considered, it’s still brand new to me. Since I dialed this thing up I might as well watch it and wouldn’t you know it, ‘Repli-Kate’ didn’t totally suck.

So in this flick that dude from that ‘Psyche’ TV show, James Roday, assumes the role of Max, a hard working geneticist assisting his asshole boss, Dr. Jonas Fromer (Eugene Levy), in the creation of a cloning machine. Truth be told Fromer is actually assisting Max because almost of the work and concepts come from Max but Fromer is the one with framed paper on the wall so that’s pretty much how that goes down in academia. Also assisting with the project is Max’s snarky British best buddy Henry (Desmond Askew), as this is a Romantic Comedy of sorts you absolutely have to have the sad sack silly funny friend on board and today that duty falls to Desmond Askew. Anyway, despite all his intelligence and work ethos, all Max really wants is a girl to share his life with and he thinks he might have met that girl when he is a accosted outside his lab by the incredibly beautiful Kate (Ali Landry) who is a science reporter with an underlying passion for microbiology, because who doesn’t have an underlying passion for microbiology, and she would like to do a report on Max and his amazing genetic advances. Unfortunately Kate is dating a rock star which dashes Max’s hope of a hook-up but he does grant the raven haired beauty an interview. Without getting too much into the incredibly shaky science that is at the core of this thing Kate bleeds during the interview, blood drips on the ‘cloning disk’, Max runs unwittingly runs a test after Kate leaves and now Repli-Kate is born.

Of course now we have a dilemma as there are two full grown over developed Kate’s running around, but the good thing is the Original Kate is off overseas with her rock star boyfriend so Max and Henry get to teaching Repli-Kate how to be the perfect woman by nurturing her into loving beer, sports, pizza, action movies and casual detached sex. Naturally this is the bulk of the movie as we have plenty of scenes Ali Landry belching, learning to wear underwear, and looking for indiscreet love among other things. Damn, wouldn’t you know that Original Kate has called off her trip because she feels Max is more in tune with her feelings? Wouldn’t you also know that Dr. Fromer is evil and discovers that Max has cloned a human and wants all the glory for himself? Wouldn’t you know that there will be a scene of madcap zany chaos – check that, two scenes of madcap zany chaos with clones running here and there ultimately leading to resolution and finally… love.

One of the flaws of this film is the theory that having a woman who drinks beer, likes sports and watches action flicks is a good thing. It IS a good thing if that woman is your buddy, but it’s an absolutely terrible thing if that woman is your girl because that would be a woman that you would be around CONSTANTLY! I think we all know that no relationship could survive that amount of enclosed close contact. Even if that woman does look like Ali Landry. Which leads us to the good things about ‘Repli-Kate’ in that Ali Landry a fine looking woman, and we’re talking from the tip of her head to the dirt under her toenails, girlfriend is one evenly distributed balanced load of feminine gifts. Her being beautiful doesn’t make the movie any good but it certainly doesn’t hurt it none. It just so happens that Ms. Landry does a fine comedic job in creating two separate and unique characters in Kate and Repli-Kate, which is fairly critical since the comic hook rests on her performance and she does manage to pull it off. It is the humor and the timing of this humor that keeps ‘Repli-Kate’ floating above water and the direction of Frank Longo that keeps the outlandish narrative and overall silliness of the story from completely consuming this thing.

We do recognize that there is absolutely nothing unique or special about ‘Repli-Kate’ as it’s a compendium of old jokes and tried and true routines that have been done countless times before. Though our filmmakers tried to keep the silliness at a controllable level, this was still one silly ass movie with all of the running and screaming and mayhem and misdirection. They didn’t even pretend to try to make the science have any kind of sense or logic to it and it seemed when they had their backs against a wall, just have Ali Landry show us some thinly veiled skin – as there was no nudity in this movie – but I guess that’s a pretty good fall back plan.

But hey, this six year old mess did make me laugh and I also wonder why Ali Landry didn’t become a bigger name since it seems to me she has, at the very least, what others who are making a name for themselves in this business have. I also notice that director Frank Longo hasn’t done Jack since this movie came out as I’m guessing ‘Repli-Kate’ killed his career, or the very least sucked all the life out the poor man. Frank, if you ever happen to stumble on this, drop me an E-mail and tell me what happened man. ‘Repli-Kate’ might not have been ‘On the Waterfront’, but I certainly wasn’t a career killer.

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