Sunday, June 27, 2010

Surrogates. B-

There's definitely something wrong with Surrogates, a high concept sci-fi thriller with a lot of ideas on its mind. Maybe it's the film's brevity; it only runs for 89 minutes (including credits), which isn't enough time for any feature to tell a fully developed story. Or maybe it's because it starts on such a sophisticated note and then winds down into a pretty standard adventure. But though I felt something lacking as the end credits rolled, I still admit I had a pretty good time with the movie as pure entertainment. The concept is that everyone in the country can have a surrogate, a robotic double who does everything for you while you remain in the safety of your home. The cool thing is that your mind is synced with the robot, so it's like you have two persons. This creates a multitude of options, most of which concern having the ability to look any way you want. Don't like your face, your weight, your hair? That can all change with the surrogate technology. The system does other things to, like decreasing crime rates. So it seems like a good idea, doesn't it? But oh, wait, there's that one overlooked problem: everything has become so artificial that the human element has been lost. This is another weakness in the movie, because that theme is one that has been touched upon plenty before. The story involves an FBI agent, played by Bruce Willis, trying to track down a weapon that is destroying both the surrogate and the human synced to it. Willis doesn't seem to be having as much fun as usual this time around, but he's still a great action hero and the movie's better with him in it. So yeah, Surrogates introduces this cool idea, but it definitely fades as it goes on. But for the concept alone it's worth checking out, plus if you don't mind a lot of clumsy action then it's definitely for you.

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