“Surrogates” is a science fiction thriller that depicts a future in which humans stay at home and use their minds to control a surrogate cyborg that looks very much like themselves. This robot goes out in to the world and experiences life for them. Most of the surrogates appear as what their owner perceives as perfect. Take Bruce Willis for example. His surrogate looks to be a 30 year old man with a mop of hair and perfect skin. When Willis’ character has to venture out in to the world without his surrogate, we see him as a man in his late 40’s, bald and with wrinkles under his eyes. To me he actually looks better.
The movie opens as two surrogates are murdered. But does it really matter if surrogates are murdered because they are just machines? Well this time the killer seems to of used a weapon that not only fried the robot, but also exploded the brains of it’s user. This is bad obviously. Who the killer is and his motives I will leave for you to find out.
What is fascinating about movies like this is that they pose the question of if you could be someone else, would you? A lot of the time in “Surrogates” the appearance of the robot does not match the appearance of its user. This adds a neat twist to the plot as anybody could be anybody honestly. It is just too bad that “Surrogates” gets bogged down with action and melodrama because it has a great opening act, and seems like it might be heading in to the realm of Philip K. Dick territory. Unfortunately Hollywood demands that the hero be chased and get in to shoot outs with androids who can jump like Spider-man.
There are a few subplots here that could be interesting but are never explored. One is the relationship between Willis’ character and his wife. Not only have they lost touch over the years, but their surrogates don’t even communicate. Honestly I would find it interesting to see a movie where their surrogates sit down in therapy and try to work things out.
Good science fiction films are hard to come by. I am very much looking forward to James Cameron’s upcoming “Avatar”, which has a similar theme to this film. “Surrogates” had potential but resorts to violence to resolve the story. I wish it had just finished what it started.