Touchstone Pictures describes Surrogates as:
People are living their lives remotely from the safety of their own homes via robotic surrogates — sexy, physically perfect mechanical representations of themselves. It’s an ideal world where crime, pain, fear and consequences don’t exist. When the first murder in years jolts this utopia, FBI agent Greer (Willis) discovers a vast conspiracy behind the surrogate phenomenon and must abandon his own surrogate, risking his life to unravel the mystery.
This is where the simple summation ends and the fleece begins…Pulling slowly over your eyes.
Besides all the obvious details of the film seen in the commercials, this film seemed to be a mish mash of several sci-fi film’s ideas and aesthetics that I spent more time relating the film to others then actually enjoying the show. The film also tries carrying with it a hefty message that they don’t mind cramming down your throat consistently for the whole hour and a half; the evolution of true technology can go so far that the limitations will exceed man’s reach.
Screaming of other movies such as Total Recall, Robocop, and Minority Report, we are shown the likely technology our futures may employ to make things SO easy that it’s criminal. The bad thing is, this film doesn’t let you unravel this yourself, it shows you with several examples. Football so extreme the Surrogates, as disposable as newspaper, tear heads off, faux TV ads selling preteen and children dopplegangers so they can stay safe by having a Surrogate live out their childhood and not be in danger of injury, illness, or fatigue.
The simplicity of the film’s plot is so vast, every avenue it leads you down lends to it a corresponding proximity of predictability. People start relying on their Surrogates for everything from sex, to drug use (which is itself a strange simulation of messing with you Surrey’s circuits, and getting it “Fucked up” as the young people of today put it). They become so reliant on their beautifully customised vessel, that they let their human forms start to deteriorate into unhealthy, malnourished, and miserable masses that can’t survive without them. Very similar to the last 5 years of cell phones ruling peoples lives, and how they actually manically lose their minds when their cell is not in their pocket and have a moment of sheer panic, until they realize that its in the other pocket…And they catch their breath and sigh “Whew! I was so scared!” You remember at the turn of the century when a pager was what you had and a cell phone didn’t make you who you were? That is what the story wants you to see. Cloning Dolly the sheep. Is it ethical?All these questions make you wonder, while Bruce Willis in his human form tries figuring out who is murdering Surrogates. The world is full of beautiful, perfect people with insane ability, but when a device is designed that kills a Surrogate and also kills the person controlling it, the hunt begins. With the same culture and feel Minority Report gave us, the plot follows closely and seamlessly but with key elements shifted. The acting was good, with Willis’s ditching out his Surrogate early on and prowling the humans against Surreys organization to find who the killer is.
It has a lot of unique ideas that are original, it just FEELS like the well worn path others have trekked down. Making this film smooth, and flow quickly. It moves at such a fast pace, that its over before you have a chance to figure anything out on your own. Aesthically gorgeous with a seamless gauntlet of special effects to run you through, this film, is so throwaway, you won’t miss it even if you see it.
2 out 5 Stars
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