Thursday, October 15, 2009

Raptor Wants a Surrogate

You know, it doesn’t matter if Bruce Willis is dressed up as some yuppie cop or looking like a beat up bum he always ends up looking cool and in The Surrogates you get both. He also gets to wear a Toupee and pretend he has hair. Believe it or not. 

Um I think you have something feeding on your head Bruce....again.
Um I think you have something feeding on your head Bruce....again.

The Surrogates is set in a world were robot technology has advanced to the point in which humans can control android avatars to do their daily work while they stay “safely” at home strapped to a control chair. Enter in Willis’s character, Tom Greer a cop who investigates a double murder with partner Peters (Radah Mitchell). What’s unusual is that there hasn’t been a murder for years since the two people where using surrogates when they were killed. How can you kill a robot anyway? Well the murder used a device (small spoiler but it’s pretty much at the beginning of the film) that breaks the safety’s on the control chairs. One of the people murdered was the son of Canter (James Cromwell), the guy who invented the surrogates. Throw in a radical anti-surrogates movement and you have a bit of a Sci-fi thriller on your hands.

The concepts behind The Surrogates are pretty cool. What you have is pretty much what most MMO users have been doing all along. Using avatars to play games or do stuff online. Only in this instance it’s transported to the real world. It also asks the same questions you get from MMOs of identity and humanity. Is the person the same as his avatar? Is it really a male or female? Is it a bot or human? What happens when they go to the toilet? (answered by the way). It also shows us a military view point and in my opinion is quite the way that the future of warfare would go if this were possible.

For action, well it kicks off and doesn’t let up with a script that’s pretty much 1, 2 and 3 but for what it is it’s pretty good, well edited although it ain’t going to win any Oscars. Bruce Willis played Greer with his usual cool. Radah Mitchell was there but she didn’t really have much weight in the film. A sub plot involving Tom Greers wife Maggie (Rosamund Pike) in which she uses a surrogate to hide from the world after the loss of their child was quite well done and brought some humanity to Toms character. In fact when Tom has to go out into the real world looks beat up, haggard and yes human compared to all the perfect surrogates running round.

What should have been in the movie...<shakes head sadly>
What should have been in the movie...


The Surrogates brought up a lot of interesting concepts. It had my friends and I talk about it after for quite some time and that’s always a good sign for a movie. Overall it was well acted, a solid thriller and reasonable plot. My only gripe was the lack of nudity, perfect bodies anyone? It just screams boobies! Anyway I give The Surrogates a hard 7.5.

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