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Monday, January 4, 2010

Movie Review - Surrogates

Movie Title
Action, Sci-fi

The Surrogates movie is based on a five-issue Top Shelf Productions comic book by Robert Venditti & Brett Weldele.

In the not-so-distant future, humans are able to live their lives remotely from the safety & comfort of their own homes via near-indestructible robotic avatars called surrogates (read: remotely piloted androids) — sexy, physically perfect mechanical representations of themselves. Agent Tom Greer (Bruce Willis), a grizzled, bearded depressive (his son had recently died in a car accident and this had driven a wedge between him and his wife) and Agent Peters (Radha Mitchell), 2 FBI personnel who are investigating a double homicide in which two surrogates were destroyed and resulted in the unprecedented deaths of their human users as well. This is not supposed to happen as fail-safes were put in place to pre vent that from ever happening.

Agents Greer and Peters approach the creator of surrogate technology, Canter (James Cromwell), to get more information. Canter, who is the father of one of the 2 victims, realizes that the target of the murder attempt may have been him, and directs the agents & blame to the corporation he built but had a falling out with. However, there now appears to be a weapon that is able to not only disable surrogates but also kill the human users and it involves more than just the corporation manufacturing the surrogates. The Military and the anti-surrogate faction (pro-human communities of extremists led by the mysterious Prophet played by Ving Rhames, who has an agenda even his followers are unaware of) are involved & implicated to these events.

In the course of his investigations, Greer's surrogate is destroyed and is not given a replacement surrogate until the investigation is complete. Driven by his personal demons and to protect his wife’s life, he then decides to continue is his quest to solve the case in the flesh (without a surrogate) and the details unravel led uncovers a terrifying secret.

Bruce Willis is a reliable Hollywood go-to guy and as usual, he does a competent job. Not great mind you, but competent. Anyway, it takes a little getting used (and quite difficult to take him seriously in this movie without breaking out with laughter*) to seeing Willis as a clean-cut agent with hair and with great skin complexion no less!

* Sorry Willis fans. I love him too.

This movie reminds me a lot of I-Robot – a police story involving robots and policemen who try to solve the case in the flesh. I have a personal affinity towards movies of this genre, hence, my rating for this will be slightly biased. Having said that, I do quite dislike – self professed prophet figures like – The Prophet. Ving Rhames also makes it easy for one to develop a quick dislike for his character.
That being said, this movie somehow lacks that elusive 'zing' that could've made it a more engaging and memorable watch.
Rating: 5.5/10

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