A psychological suspense debut carries on its jacket “The Matrix meets Mission Impossible.” More apt would be Total Recall meets Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick’s paranoia parables.
The difference here is that Arnold’s clone in Total Recall (who doesn’t know he’s a clone), and Harrison Ford’s replicant in Blade Runner, who doesn’t know he’s a replicant, are likable heroes. Cameron Fisher, the clone of Rift, who doesn’t know he’s a clone, is boring and not at all likable. The main plot device keeps you hanging in there, but by the close you still don’t care what happens to anybody. Cameron works for Rodrigo Batiste, the owner of NeuroStar, which plans to go public with its currently hush-hush transmission machines. These have been tried out successfully on dogs, although some observers suggest the transmission left the animals mangled. Rodrigo means to fire Cameron because he’s so boring as a NeuroStar accountant—but instead offers him $5 million to be the first human transmission, from Houston to Phoenix. Cameron’s wife Misty, a religious zealot following the brain death of their first child followed by two miscarriages, warns him that he may lose his soul in this transmission—and would that he had! He loses nothing, however, but wakes up in the transmission lab in Phoenix, meets up with his buddy Tom, and off they go to play golf. But first Tom wants to show Cameron a topless bar, and at the bar the most beautiful woman Cameron has ever seen sits alone with him at his table and begins talking about the transmission machines. Cameron has been at NeuroStar for five years and never heard of these secret devices—while here this beautiful topless dancer knows all about them. Then assassins kill Tom on the golf course, try to kill Cameron—and the rest is Cameron in flight, flight, flight.
Strong middle, familiar ending.