Humans have been fascinated by human cloning ever since it was imagined by futurists and subsequently proved to be scientifically possible. For many people who do not believe in an afterlife, children are the only genetic way to achieve a sense of immortality, and even that only brings half of one’s genetic material to the table. While few admit it openly, there is an undeniable attraction to cloning oneself.
For most cloning depicted in film, there is no cloning of memories. Only the biology is duplicated. That is the more realistic route. Duplicating a person’s memories and learning is many orders of magnitude more difficult to accomplish than copying the genetics, and is not even close to possible with current science and technology.
What follows is my opinion of the top five sci-fi movies where cloning is a central part of the plot. The films are in chronological order.
The Fifth Element (1997)
While not about human cloning, ‘The Fifth Element’ shows the astounding results that are possible when mankind has the technology to clone extra-terrestrial beings. When the geneticist who is in charge of Leeloo’s cloning process sees her escape the lab, he is so amazed at the results that he can only say, “Perfect.”
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
In this film, one of Captain Picard’s worst fears is realized. He is cloned by rebel forces in the Romulan empire and that clone grows up as a criminal. Patrick Stewart’s acting is excellent in this film, and he expertly shows the frustration of trying to change the behavior of someone who thinks just like he does, but has had divergent experiences.
The Island (2005)
I don’t normally enjoy Michael Bay movies, but this one is an exception. It has the best film plot ever created about cloning used for surrogate organs and baby farming. Some of the visuals within the cloning facility such as the clothing and interior design remind me of the sci-fi classic ‘Logan’s Run’.
Aeon Flux (2005)
Clones are used to save humanity from extinction in this movie starring Charlize Theron, one of my favorite actresses. ‘Aeon Flux’ shows what happens when a man with political power wants to achieve a pseudo-immortality through cloning and is willing to commit murder in order to maintain the cloning process.
‘Moon’ is a captivating and thought-provoking tale of what happens when a corporation is allowed to create human clones without regard to the wishes and desires of those clones. Sam Rockwell plays the role of Sam Bell, an excellent portrayal of a man who suffers a nervous breakdown as the truth of his situation is slowly revealed.