Review: Surrogates

A great science fiction concept that never quite goes far enough as a movie.  It’s like the movie is using a surrogate when the real movie would have been so much better.

We live in a world where people spend hours on the computer to have more “real” relationships online than they do five feet from their house.  Where we want to be society’s idea of “perfect” but we don’t want to take the steps to get there.  So sci-fi surrogacy doesn’t seem so far fetched…but does the movie deliver?

Based on an independent graphic novel (aka a comic book with credibility) that I haven’t read, but I heard is fantastic, Surrogates is a world where everyone lives through robots.  Sex, drugs, and rock n’roll couch potatoes.  Can’t get hurt and you can’t do any real damage so why not?  Crime rates is down and the good times are up.

Well, some people have a bit of an issue with it.  Led by the Prophet (Ving Rhames), there is a small contingent that wants to ban surrogates and live like real people.  Hippies.

All is well and superficial (remember this word, it’ll come in handy later) until someone starts killing people through their surrogates.  Kinda defeats the purpose doesn’t it?  Enter Bruce Willis and Rahda Mitchell as the cops on the case.

Wow, Bruce Willis as a cop.  No one saw that coming. (insert sarcasm here).  As far as Bruce goes, he’s pretty much on auto-pilot here.  It’s not a terrible thing because he can play the role with his eyes closed but it really doesn’t give us anything new.  His robotic version, bad hair and all, versus his real-self is evident and you definitely get a sense this guy is much more fragile than the surrogate.

The rest of the cast are pretty much a thrown away.  Yes that’s Ving Rhames and yes that’s James Cromwell but pretty much anyone could have played those roles.  Radha Mitchell and Rosamund Pike (partner, wife respectively) did their jobs and nothing else.  Everything was obvious and pretty boring.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I wish the movie had been longer.  Longer to explore surrogacy.  Longer to give a crap about Bruce’s marriage.  Longer to care about his dead kid.  (sorry).  I wanted more than the 83 minutes gave me.

This movie was a great idea with specially special effect but too simple of a message – “So…um, surrogacy is bad?”  It all just felt superficial.  (told ya)

2 tickets – a renter.  It’s a decent movie that makes you think, just not so much with the feel.

Coming Attractions:
Up In the Air –If you’re read my blog in the past you know I have a little bit of a love for George Clooney.  This movie keeps the love alive and I’m sorry, if you don’t feel something from watch this 2.5 minutes of monologue, you are dead inside.  (support director Jason Reitman, he’s a good Canadian kid)

Randomly Recommended

Alpha Dog – I like Bruce Willis, I really do but I actually had a hard time coming up with a highly recommended flick of his (excluding the first Die Hard, too obvious).  I’m going with this 2006 movie based on the true story of Jesse James Hollywood, the youngest man ever to be on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.  Bruce only has a cameo in it but it’s an intense little thriller that’s worth checking out.  (even Justin Timberlake is good)

Gattaca – If you want a great movie that focuses on the pursuit of perfection, you’ll do yourself a favour by watching Gattaca.  Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, and Jude Law have to deal with man-made excellence and where that puts you on the success scale.  Smart murder mystery and entertaining as hell.  (the anti-Surrogates)

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  1. Sheldon Johnson says:

    Damn! I had high hopes and now I hear that those hopes are going to be lit up. It’s got Bruce so I have to see it.

    83 minutes! I hate that. This isn’t a cartoon and my attention span is a touch longer than a five year old (that’s right…I said a touch).

    I haven’t seen it, but I must agree that a topic such as this deserves a respectable 120 min.

  2. Here here (stiff British accent)

  3. I’m paying the same amount of money for this as a regular length movie (2 hours +). It felt more like an hour of Outer Limits with better special effects. I didn’t say Twilight Zone because those always had more depth. (did I just bash Outer Limits?)

  4. I am sad to hear they didn’t delve as deeply into this concept as they ought to have. If people invested as much focus and energy into their real life relationships as they do in their virtual lives we could actually have the phenomenal world we all wish for. Hollywood misses the point of telling a story once again.

  5. Your tone seems to show a lack of surprise. Any movies you would recommend that don’t “miss the point?”

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