Directed by: Jonathan Mostow Cast: Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike, Ving Rhames, James Cromwell Running Time: 89 mins Rating: PG-13 Due Out: January 26, 2010
PLOT: In 2017, human beings stay in their rooms all day and lets robotic clones do their work, live their lives, etc. A federal agent (Bruce Willis) races against time to stop a scheme that would kill both the surrogates and their users.
WHO'S IT FOR?: This would appease the mindless action fans more than the science-fiction futuristic story buffs. Philip K. Dick, this is not.
Another movie that claims the uprising of technology will be the downfall of humans and their communication, Surrogates is a sci-fi actioner that is itself robotic, and doesn’t work very hard to protect itself from such a convenient metaphor. The usage of such human-looking androids (surrogates) can only do so much to excuse the film’s overall stiff performances, which has Bruce Willis struggling to grease up his weathered gears even when presented as a younger, blonde haired federal agent. The sometimes-menacing James Cromwell has a compelling backstory to his character, but it must not have computed correctly with the rest of the story’s set formula to earn proper amount of screen time. Surrogates does pull a decent sized twist on its audience in the third, but it’s mostly to keep them awake during the lulls that lie between the sequences where things are broken, crashed, or smashed.
Surrogates begins as a mystery, ends as an action flick with some unfortunate slapstick, and sprinkles weak social commentary throughout in attempts to give the film a lasting grit. Like how it seems with many futuristic action movies, Surrogates has no such thing, but it has the speediness of a hoverboard to prevent itself from being entertainment that wears on its viewers. In this regard, the film’s job is complete, but at the same time, it’s such a small task.
MOVIE SCORE: 5/10
Breaking the Frame: A Graphic Novel Comes To Life - Parts of the original graphic novel are set shown in motion, while the writer of the original Surrogates talks excitedly about how his little idea has now become a big Hollywood production. (I wonder what he thought of the film). Ideas of the graphic novel are discussed, and it becomes further evident that a few significant elements were dropped for the film version.
A More Perfect You: The Science of Surrogates - This extra informs us that soulless robots like those seen in Surrogates are going to be erasing human communication and doing our dishes for us, and then talks about how great such technology is. Wait, so are we doomed or what? For the sake of humanity, make up your mind, special feature on a Bruce Willis movie Blu-ray!
Deleted Scenes "I Will Not Bow" Music Video by Breaking Benjamin Feature Audio Commentary by Director Jonathan Mostow
EXTRAS SCORE: 6/10
The ideas that were not expressed in the final product are covered in the special features, a choice that does assist in bringing the experience of Surrogates a few steps toward completion (something that can’t be done by five deleted scenes). Outside of filling in a few of the movie’s many thematic vacancies, the Blu-ray doesn’t offer much else besides a music video from closing credits group Breaking Benjamin and the director's audio commentary. The disc does provide more moments of Bruce Willis being a half-rate action hero, but how much is it all worth? A rental, at the very most.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10