Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review Tuesday: 'Surrogates'

Today’s ‘Review Tuesday’. The place is Boston. The year is well into the future – yet the cars and helicopters are contemporary. It’s a dangerous time and place. So flesh-and-blood humans stay at home where it’s safe, and operate surrogates (i.e. stand-ins, substitutes, proxies). In the 2009 movie Surrogates [1, 2, 3], the eponymous beings are robots – which look life-like in a smoothed-out faux manner, à la Sam Newman, Paul Hogan and Cher. In the film’s Boston there are thousands, perhaps millions of surrogates. And also a group of humans who not only don’t have surrogates, but abhor them. This group’s relegated to a central Boston ghetto where they’re forced to live in squalor. Some of the surrogates look like younger versions of their operators. This includes Tom Greer, played by Bruce Willis. Therefore the movie’s premise is an interesting one. So far, so good. But, alas, I can’t summarise the story line – because I couldn’t understand it. It’s far too convoluted and confusing for me, as a mere mortal, to unravel. All I could work out is that Bruce’s character’s our hero (as usual), he survives frequent mortal threats, and finally to redeem the love of his emotionally distant wife he inactivates the software of all the surrogates, leaving the future to humans. At least until someone fixes the software – which may or may not happen because its inventor/head honcho has suicided. Though its idea’s reasonably novel, as a whole Surrogates doesn’t fly. Generously I give it two stars.

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