Ready for some fun sci-fi action with a good ol’ fashioned moral at the end? Check out Bruce Willis‘ new action-thriller by Jonathan Mostow, Surrogates. You’ve seen the sexy/creepy posters of the perfect beings taking off their clothing to reveal their inner robots, now it’s time to see what’s behind all the mystery.
Check out the review below…
- Director: Jonathan Mostow
- Screenplay: Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato
- Graphic Novel: Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele
- Cast: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, Boris Kodjoe, Ving Rhames
Set in present day, people have found a new way to live their lives to the fullest — with surrogate robots. The robots are a sexy, physically perfect mechanical representations of themselves. Basically you’re you, only hotter and better at everything that you do. With everyone safe in their homes, free of pain, fear and consequences, the world is a utopia, that is until the first murder occurs and FBI agent Greer (Willis) will have to leave his surrogate behind and risk his life to unravel the mystery.
- The Idea Behind the Action: If people really had surrogates it would change the world as we know it, and the movie did attempt to take that all on board in an interesting way. Violence would change, health would change (although I only saw it going the one way- more on this later), war, infidelity (it wasn’t ME!) and more. For an action film, they took a number of these ideas to heart and did a decent job at presenting them in a fun way.
- Old Fashioned Effects: A number of extras doing one thing in unison is more effective than someone flying through thin air. In a world where everything is CGI it’s nice to see a couple simple shots that still blow your hair back. Although there are a few scenes which were definitely shot on a green screen and a tennis ball, they used them spraingly and had enough story to keep you entertained and interested between action sequences.
- The Sub-Plot: Without spoiling anything, Bruce Willis’ character is given a “dramatic sub-plot” which is completely unnecessary to the story and far to heavy handed to be enjoyed or believed. Which is made worse by…
- The Score: Talk about trying to ham up the little stuff. Every time there’s an emotional plot point that they’re trying to hit you over the head with you’re bombarded with violins and over the top sympathetic music. A good score should but heard but not noticed, this was not that.
- Their Health: Back to what I was saying before… Yes, by having a surrogate you would be less likely to catch a cold from someone sitting next to you, STDs wouldn’t be a problem, and day to day injuries would drop, but if all you did all day long was sit in a chair, your body would atrophy, depression would run rampant, and I’m sure our life lines would go down. Going to the gym, hiking, swimming is not just about being sexy, it’s also about well being and piece of mind. Pharmaceutical companies would have a field day if this were to ever happen and I would have loved to have seen them touch on that.
- Wealth: How can everyone afford amazing apartments with nice cars and a surrogate system that I imagine is extremely expensive? Just because you have a pretty person running around as you doesn’t mean you have more money. Where was the wealth coming from?
- The Surrogates Movement: They can fly through the air, jump from bus to bus, and crush you if necessary, but for some reason they don’t know how to dance. Well at least not all of them. Is the message supposed to be that dancing can only be done by a real human? If so, that’s fine, but I needed a line and someone to tell all the extras in the shot what the deal was, because half of them were dancing like robots and the other half like people.
Although this is an action film, it does have a bit more to it. Is it a great film? No. Is it great for what it is? Yes. It’s got a touch of a cool idea mixed in with a bunch of pretty people running around while getting blown up. In fact, I think they could have dropped the whole sub-plot and just dealt a little bit more with the main plot, which was quite rich. And to wrap it all up, it does have a important albeit sappy moral at the end to boot.