I know, I’m late with my review of this and I didn’t post anything at all on Monday.
What can I tell you? It’s just been that kind of week! I suppose that I should be grateful that I have my iPhone to so I can, uh, “phone this one in” via the WordPress beta app.
Anyway, I saw Surrogates this past Friday. I liked this movie a lot. Now, I doubt it will be lauded as a great movie, nor will it do fantastically well at the box office, but I liked this movie better than Gamer, which covers some of the same intellectual ground. Surrogates is an action flick, too, but not to the same degree and, more importantly to me, Surrogates focused more on the social implications of the technology and less on the tawdry, flashy sex.
Surrogates stars Bruce Willis as an FBI agent in a world where virtually everyone has a “surrogate”, or remote-controlled robot, with which they interact with the world. The idea behind that is that the surrogate can’t die or be permanently damaged the way a human, or “user”, can. The problem is someone has found a weapon that can send some kind of feedback signal through the surrogate that will killthe user. Willis’ character is called in to investigate just such a crime and what might be the first murder since the invention of surrogates. The bigger problem is that the murder victim is the son of the man who invented surrogates.
The chief suspect is a “meat bag”, as people without surrogates are known. And, he was apparently used by an anti-surrogate extremist group called the “Dreads”, who are led by a dreadlocked Ving Rhames. So, now, not only does Willis’ character have to solve the first murder since the invention of surrogates, but has to figure out who made this “impossible” weapon, how, and, most importantly of all, why. Add to this the fact that Willis’ character isn’t overly fond of surrogates to begin with, since his wife is using it as a way to hide from him emotionally as she tries to forget that they had a child who died.
But, like I said, this is an action film, so there is plenty of action. A car chase with a helicopter that ends poorly and results in Willis’ character not being able to use his surrogate. Being forced into the real world has some strange effects on people not used to it, or so it would seem from the level of anxiety he displays. And, who can blame them for wanting to be in their surrogates all the time? The surrogates are perfect. Perfect bodies, perfect faces and, all but Willis’ have perfect hair. And, these things are virtually indestructable. So, that’s why it’s so important that they find out who’s killing people through their surrogates.
Willis’ character does find out, incidentally, but that’s far from the end of the story. You’ll have to see it to understand and I’m not going to ruin it.
One thing to know, though, is that the action isn’t quite as good as Gamer, but the nasty, shock-value-only sex is virtually not present. Also, I think they explored some of the social relevance of the surrogate phenomina better than those same aspects were explored in Gamer.
Definitely worth seeing this movie, but if you’re not a fan of science-fiction, you’d better hit this in a matinee. Still worth seeing, though.