Director: Jonathan Mostow
Starring: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Ving Rhames and James Cromwell
More Info: IMDB
Tagline: Human perfection. What could go wrong?
Plot: Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others’ surrogates.
My Rating: 7/10
Would I watch it again? why not
I love a good sci-fi-makes-you-think kind of flick. Having said that, I don't go to the theater to see them because there are few sci-fi movies that are worth a spit these days. I did catch DISTRICT 9 (2009) a month or so back and liked what it brought to the table. I probably would have avoided this one if it weren't for the casting of Bruce Willis. He's got a good track record with sci-fi - THE FIFTH ELEMENT (1997) and THE TWELVE MONKEYS (1995). ARMAGEDDON (1998) doesn't count because that movie was shit. Besides all of that, I've rarely disliked him in anything.
That said, I liked SURROGATES. It's not the home run I would have liked it to have been but it's a much better-than-average sci-fi movie in a sea of so-so films. But it's not without flaws.
SPOILERS HARD 2: SPOILERS HARDER
Some things that kind of bugged me...it seems that nearly EVERYONE has a surrogate. We're not told how far into the future we are but I just can't imagine that they are soooooo affordable that just about anyone can have one.
There are large groups of humans who do not like the idea of surrogates. So much so that they live in barricaded communities that looked like bombed-out third world cities. The humans (the film's slang is "meatbags". Cute.) look like trash and live like trash. The dichotomy wasn't good enough for me. There must be humans that cannot or choose not to have a surrogate but are perfectly OK with it. I certainly wouldn't want to be among the shitbags that live in shanty towns.
I see that I can get carried away with this so I guess a large part of this boils down to reading the graphic novel it's based on to see if there's a more reasonable explanation for some of these things.
The ending is a mixed bag. I dig how Willis made a selfish decision that affected possibly THE ENTIRE PLANET. That was cool to a degree. But I would have like more of a negative consequence to have gone along with it...like millions of people dying.
Once people are 'off the grid' they wonder onto the empty (of humans at least) streets looking dazed. Nearly everyone was overweight to some degree (nice touch, as you are basically chair-ridden for the duration of your surrogates activities) but you didn't see anyone that was disappointed or pissed. Maybe that comes later. I'm not exactly sure where those lie in the steps to healing. It'll be interesting to hear the director/writer commentary once the DVD hits.
END OF SPOILERS...YARRRRR!
The special effects were just fine. Nothing made me shit my pants or anything but then I didn't get the feeling they were about $5 million short of completing them, either. I dug it and I love how Bruce is still kicking ass at the age of 59!
Probably the biggest gripe, if you can call it that, was that it didn't compel me in any way during the film. However, after it was all said and done, I kept thinking about how it would be to live in a world where we could literally be anyone we wanted. How we could live our lives without physically being anywhere but home. How we could interact with others without hearing their true voice or seeing their true selves...Oh, wait a second. We're already there. Gotta go. It's time to log into my online job as a sexy lady of pleasure. I'm a knockout, you know. Five foot two, eyes of blue, boobs till Tuesday...