|Portuguese subtitles Surrogates||3 years ago|
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Willis makes it watchable
5/10 With the action heroes of my generation all too old or M.I.A. (Ford, Hackman, Eastwood), I have consistently made the comment, "Thank God for Bruce Willis". Good ole Bruce, aging towards his mid-fifties, consistently brings action films to our local theatres year after year after year. As an actor, he has 70+ projects contained within his historical biography and the guy keeps making bad films mediocre and mediocre films watchable.3 years ago
Surprisingly, he has but one credit to his name in 2009, Surrogates, a film that looks ripped from just about every other science fiction fantasy you have ever seen or read.
Extracted by a graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, Surrogates transports us to a future where people live through robotic surrogates from the privacy and safety of their own sanctuary and can manipulate their avatars into either copies of themselves or they can transform themselves into just about anything they want (I say just about anything because the world was not full of Megan Fox's). The opening credits give us a 14 year history of how we got to whatever future we are in at Present Day.
But when a murder the first in an eon occurs, FBI agent Greer (Willis) is assigned the case and his subsequent investigation outside of his own surrogate is filled with enough revelations to bring down the entire Utopian world.
I can't even begin to ramble of the countless movies the Surrogates borrows from in an effort to keep us entertained for the very swift 88 minutes of running time. Hell, there were even a few television programs I thought it copied for certain scenes.
That noted, Surrogates is not all that bad. Director Jonathon Mostow (Terminator 3 which I actually liked) might not have put the most seasoned piece of sci-fi on the screen, but he could have done much worse with the cheesy premise.
The special effects are kinda few and kinda crappy. A scene with a surrogate riding on the hood of a car was blue screen embarrassment. But the special effects are kept in tow as Mostow tries for more of an atmosphere than he does an all out future world experience.
Bruce Willis always throws me off in movies where he has hair and Ving Rhames shows up as a human (?) who opposes the surrogate conglomerate. It's been 15 years since Rhames and Willis had screen time together and I was thankful there was no plastic ball in their mouth and a gimp parading in front of them while they approached their purpose in the script.
Surprisingly, for all the borrowing and lack of any true originality, Surrogates, is watchable. The ideas are all squished (think of a marshmallow being squeezed through a key hole) into an entertaining if not enthralling sit that might not exactly be worth $50 and a babysitter to make a night out of, but it can easily be a rewarding DVD rental in the new year.
Recommendation is clearly to rent it.
Excellent Sci-Fi Flick with Great Action Sequences
8/10 This film was an interesting twist on the robot as human concept, with a plot that managed to keep the viewer interested right up until the dramatic ending. A high tech company has specialized in mass producing surrogates, or personal robots, which are sold to the American middle class. They are quickly adopted to perform routine functions and then essentially perform high level functions (like one's job). The main theme was how the surrogates assumed people's lives and identities to such an extent the flesh & blood owner of the surrogate could stay home and presumably pursue higher level interests. The reality was most people simply fell into a spiritual stupor, resorting to alcohol or drugs to pass their time.3 years ago
The actors were all very good and up to the task of portraying themselves in robotic fashion (this doesn't require great acting skill but the screenplay was quite good). I thought Bruce Willis did a good job in the lead role(s) as FBI Agent Tom Geer (he also played his "surrogate" as a very low key robot). Bruce's surrogate is investigating the death of the son of the founder of the corporation that invented and produced the surrogates. This kicked off the main plot, which centered around an armed resistance group opposed to surrogates and attempting to defeat the surrogates and the corporation that produced them.
If the plot sounds confused, at times it is, and the ending may be less than satisfying. But for a far fetched sci-fi movie about robots, this was one of the better ones I've seen.
GOOD SCI-FI STORYLINE, but not unforgettable
6/10 Surrogates is a sci-fi movie about a future where every human being can connect their bodies into machines & they instantly live a different life through their robotic human-looking surrogates. Anybody can just stay home all day while they are connected online with their surrogates that can just easily live outside in the real world. But when a surrogate was killed along with its user, FBI agent Greer unravels a conspiracy that can lead to the death of billions of lives.3 years ago
The storyline of this movie falls somewhere around the categories where movies like Blade Runner, Minority Report, and I-Robot belong. A movie that talks about how future technologies can affect human life and provide some philosophical point-of-view that is worth pondering on. The idea of technology progressing into and reaching the boundaries that it becomes an abomination of nature. The movie tends to be thought provoking, but does not make it good enough to be worth an entire evening of discussion.
There were some moments that seemed preachy, but could have been delivered more effectively if given a proper execution or interpretation. I am talking about the moments when our main character realizes the beauty of a world free from technological complexities. We also have the minor subplot of a corporation just concerned about safeguarding their own products. And a main character coming to the realization that these products eventually diminish the humanity of a person.
It is surprising that the weaker point of this movie is the action. The terminator rip-off scenes seemed bland and there was a chase scene with a female surrogate that looked goofy because it employed a "superhero" type of action. To make it worse, there are some visual effects that look like they've been rendered 15 years ago.
With the main character of Bruce Willis running around in his actual human form for most parts of the movie, we realize that he basically is the weaker person in this world of robotic mannequins, and yes we do see him bleed a lot in this movie (it is funny to note that Willis is one of those actors that just look cooler when he gets more scars and bruises, it's like John McClane only without the crazy action). With him being the frail character, that alone clearly reminds you that this is not your regular Bruce Willis action flick. The movie just basically starts out as a futuristic detective-type movie then progresses into the same mood as Willis was in films like "Unbreakable" where he stumbles around a maze that leads him to some enlightening truth.
The high points of this movie lie in the storyline. Second is the way the movie creates this amazing-looking world of a future inhabited mostly by surrogates. The surrealism of the movie is not too far-out that most of what you see seem like they exist in the present world; there are no flying cars or rockets everywhere; its just the simple existence and presence of mannequin-like robots everywhere. The storyline may be good enough to be enjoyably satisfying, but it certainly is not the best, or perhaps not good enough to be groundbreaking.
All in all, SURROGATES is one of those good sci-fi movies that will simply entertain those who are fans of smart sci-fi movies. Action junkies may be a little disappointed though. This is a far cry from Blade Runner, but this certainly gives you a cheaper version of that kind of enjoyment. I loved it. But it is definitely not unforgettable.
A Nice Hybrid of High Tech Action Thriller Movies
8/10 SURROGATES presents a strong sci fi storyline that isn't so convoluted that it exhausts the viewer from mental analysis of what's going on. It also is crafted well so that unlike a number of sci fi action movies, the balance between the action and the human relationship components are in sync. This hybrid sci fi movie includes elements from I, ROBOT (2004) that introduced many of the similar robotic images, THE MATRIX (1999) that introduced the notion of virtual reality plug ins, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981) that introduced a post-modern society isolated from the rest of humanity, and FAHRENHEIT 451 (1966) that presented the dystopic future angst of a couple separated by technology. Bruce Willis continues at the top of his game in this movie bringing an even more subdued and sympathetic character to the screen. The action is compelling and strong, the technological premise of this movie is well executed, and the human/surrogate disconnect is remarkably engaging on an emotional level. Unfortunately, in somewhat of a less than powerful and poignant delivery, unlike FAHRENHEIT 451, SURROGATES ultimately has as its core the more traditional and perhaps predictable resolution and tidying up of lose ends favoring a more conservative and pedestrian movie overall.3 years ago
7/10 It's a great concept. In the future, the Sims style online gaming, where people live vicariously through characters, has evolved to living out real-life, in the real world, via surrogate robots. Everybody stays home all the time, 24/7. They work, play and travel via their surrogates, from the comfort of their home.3 years ago
I'm not spoiling anything here -- this all happens in the first 5 minutes. The result of this new era of existence is the dramatic drop in violent crimes, sexually transmitted diseases, death by accident, etc.
Well, it's a great concept. And the CGI is good. Because of the plot, every character is insanely pretty, so the screen is filled with beautiful people.
But... it just... doesn't... quite... gel. The whole thing feels like a cool episode of Star Trek, or something on TV. The story is not riveting. I didn't really care about the characters. The timing was off; things either came too late (I was bored, expecting them) or so fast I couldn't really appreciate.
Surrogates lacks that wow-factor.
Example of bad timing: At the start, one wonders, "What do the users really look like? Anything like like their surrogate robots?" I would expect that, at first, we see Bruce Willis, just some facial hair which his robot doesn't have. Then, eventually, we see that he is older than his robot, so he's "cheating" on age too. Even later still, maybe we'd see an obese person at home posing as an athlete via a surrogate which looks nothing like him. Well, "Surrogates" skips all that build up and goes straight for the punchline: within 10 minutes we see a hot chick robot making with a young man; turns out the hot chick is actually slovenly a middle-aged man. Any twists to come later, in this variety, loses all punch.
Worth a rental.