My third attempt to watch this proved to be successful although it was tasking since I could not stop yawning like a crazy man. Replicant on paper sounds awesome but it's execution is lifeless and dull as hell.
The sole reason why I subjected myself to this torturous viewing experience was because I wanted to find out how good Jean- Claude van Damme was as a villain compared to his role in Enemies Closer. And hands down The Torch defeats Xander easily. But to be fair that is not exactly hard to do. Only this does not mean that Replicant is a good movie. It's on par with Enemies Closer meaning that it is super bad. And so bad that it never can be good. Maybe some poor souls could feel sorry for Jean-Claude as the clone but honestly I thought it was quite pathetic. The whole concept is so ridiculous in the first place that any of it is hard to swallow. Don't get me wrong. I can appreciate this level of badness as long as it is fun. And that ladies and gentlemen is missing completely. For some reason Ringo Lam and the cast did not understand that they had to have some fun with it. Compare this to the Jet Li flick The One which is not good by any means but god was that movie fun.
It also is astonishing that they keep Van Damme giving these double roles. Usually only the best actors can pull it off. Because they have what it takes to make you forget that you are dealing with one actor. Van Damme never was able to do this convincingly without some help in the make up department. His approach to his double role also is always the same. One is a good character that we often feel sorry for and the other who is bad or though character. Not exactly hard to pull off. Anybody can do that. But here they go over the top. The clone is so pathetic that it makes you sick. Seriously even fluffy puppies would be embarrassed.
What can I say about the action? I think that Van Damme forgot why people are watching his movies in the first place. It's not your acting. They like you because of your martial arts moves and the ass kicking. It's kinda sad that he does not realize this. He honestly thinks he has improved as an actor. Well, yeah that is not that hard to do. You made like so many movies. Would almost be impossible not to improve. But that does not automatically make you a better actor. You aren't and you never will be one of the best. For that to pull off you should try to get rid of your French accent first. It's not doing you any favours any more. Also Michael Rooker steals every scene he is in with ease. He is supposed to be the good guy but at times he is more villainous than Edward. Contrary to Van Damme Rooker actually has range and can play different shades of grey (no pun intended). Sorry got carried away there. So yeah, the action in this flick is very poorly choreographed. Just some scenes where Edward beats up and kills others and scenes where Van Damme is fighting himself. And no nowhere near as good as Jet Li did in The One.
I really have given this a fair shot. Who else would try to watch this super bad film multiple times just to see if it truly is that bad? But trust me this will suck the life out of you. Like Enemies Closer you should avoid watching this.