In Theatres: 
Sep 25, 2009
Did you know?

Actress Elizabeth Banks (Meet Dave, Scrubs) is an Executive Producer on this film.

Surrogates takes place in a world that I like to call Second Life evolution. In this world humans exist through their surrogates, robots that are almost as human looking as, well, humans. The surrogates can make you stronger, faster, better looking, even offer up a gender change if that’s what floats your boat. Since the induction of surrogates into society people have become apathetic with their real lives and real bodies choosing to live through their surrogates stopping only to sleep, eat, or use the restroom. Only a small percentage of humans choose to live without surrogates, the dregs, and are lead by The Prophet (Ving Rhames), a man bent on taking back humanity from the addiction of surrogates. This becomes a possibility when the son of the creator of surrogates is murdered through his surrogate. Detective Greer (Bruce Willis) must find out how this was accomplished and stop the technique from falling into the wrong hands.

Surrogates is an action film no doubt but at the core of it all it’s a metaphoric look at humanity and our ever growing love and dependency on technology. Writers of the screenplay (Michael Ferris & John Broncato) manage to avoid the usual pitfalls of robot versus machine clichés, for the most part, and focus more on the human side, instead putting on display the frailties of humanity and pitting them against the idea of machines as a catalyst for social decay; if its not real there can be no boundaries. Not that familiar with the graphic novel the film is adapted from but it works as a stand alone and even at a minuscule 89 minutes long the film manages to grab your intrigue with mystery and fully explain itself in a way that doesn’t feel rushed or condescending. You might have a few questions when its all over but nothing that can’t be overlooked for the sake of entertainment.

While the whole thing screams Michael Bay; car chases, military, attractive men and women, and lets not forget the Robots, this is more about intelligence then pure unadulterated explosions and bad dialogue. Again, the film is a bit short for my liking, especially in this genre of film, but the plot is well thought out, even if it reads like propaganda a bit, and the actors and actresses they put in their respective roles manage to make the film as emotional as it is action oriented. Negatives for the film seem to be the fact that all the main characters in the film, aside from Bruce Willis, look terrible when not represented by their surrogates. While Willis looks aged and a little scruffy the rest of the cast looks almost rotted. Before going into this one I had this nagging feeling that the film would be a lot like I, Robot for some reason (could be the fact that James Cromwell plays the Father of creation in both) and in a few ways it was as well as borrowed a few moments from other films but fortunately the film ends on a note you wouldn’t have expected and in that I felt like someone out in Hollywood finally got a backbone. Not the greatest film I’ve seen this year but one that I would suggest seeing at least once in theaters. Enjoy. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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