Friday, September 25, 2009


This is another high tech thriller from Hollywood. This movie is carried by a megastar in Bruce Willis who is goes by the name of Greer.

This movie catches the viewer up to speed in a clever manner which is ofcourse entertaining. I am not sure what is the year of this movie, I would have to say around 2040. The first moments are 14 years prior though, so 2026. Robotic technology has advanced, with the advancement in about 15 other technological breakthroughs, to enable people live their lives vacariously through a robotic surrogate. Hence, the name. There is a scene where a monkey controls the movement of a robotic arm with his mind. All of the assumptions and ideas proposed in this movie are not that far off. They are feasible. This movie tosses in a breaking news segment that is authorized from the Supreme Court that people can live their lives through the body of the surrogate.

Why would someone want to live this way? Well, imagine if one is crippled or has been heavily scarred in a fire or another accident? Some people would say so what but many others, and perhaps I, would welcome this wonderful acheivement.

So how does this work? Is this a virtual world? No, regarding the latter, I thought this movie was going to be another Gamer type movie. I should not have thought that since Willis is no joke and does not make second rate movies. I am not saying Gamer is one of those but this movie has more impressive acting, has more thought behind it, and is a superior movie. OK, a person lies prone with an eye set on, that pleasantly resides on one's head. There is some other connections to one's body but it really simple to take off and on. I think I saw an eye set like that in another Willis movie called 12 Monkeys but I could be mistaken. The person has a robotic surrogate. The surrogate could look like anyone, I guess there is not any rule to this. I wonder if someone would say something if all the surrogates were black females. But I doubt this would be the case, not to slam black females at all, people would most likely choose to be the same sex and have the identical skin color they do real life. I am sure in certain organizations, they do not want the surrogate to that much of a departure from the actual person. It could affect the psych and if the real person ever had to make an actual appearance at work, it would not the talk of the office.

Willis is a police detective, an FBI agent. But his person does not leave his bedroom. He controlls the surrogate who goes to work and he manipulates the movement of his surrogate with his mind. Would the real person's muscles atrophy? People would have to exercise every day but this was not shown. They did show some of the real people how they actually looked and they looked in bad shape. The surrogates are not ugly, who would want to buy or "become" an ugly surrogate? No one. The surrogates in this movie are either hot or handsome. Greer does not really like to use a surrogate but it seems to be like showing up to work without shoes.

OK, here we go. The movie begins with a surrogate being killed. But it is later revealed that this improvised and scary weapon not only kills the surrogate but incinerates the mind of the actual user. Uh oh. The surrogates are made by mianly one company, like the futuristic Microsoft. This company is called VSI if I recall correctly, I forgot what the acronym stands for. There are some licensed competitors but that is not any point of this movie.

Greer's partner in crime is Radha Mitchell who is Peters. They begin to investigate this intriguing case. It blows up when another person is killed, the actual person, when their surrogate is eliminated. Greer and Peters use surveillance cameras to detect the killer of this surrogate in the first part of the movie is using some sort of powerful weapon. Their investigation leads them to VSI and also to the military. Them seem to be the logical cohorts behind a weapon like this. This weapon overwhelms the surrogate, breaks the safety barriers, and this energy causes a urge of energy back to the surrogates user's brain which is a mortal wound. This is what happens to Canter who is played by James Cromwell. Yes, the same one in Minority Report and iRobot. This man does not care about being type casted.

Canter is the creater of this technology, he brought it to the world. The US military is seen laying in a massive room, prone, controlling a surrogate in another country fighting an enemy with the support of advanced helicoptor gunships. The surrogates are just dropped off by large cargo helicopters. What is the enemy using? I doubt they have funding like the Defense Department. It would be all relative though, the US dominates now and hopefully does for my entire lifetime. Although too many more Obamas and we will be just another chump on the block, begging for cheese.

1/2 a Bond girl Rosamund Pike is Maggie, Greer's wife. 1/2 because she was not a full Bond girl, Halle Berry was the main Bond girl of the movie but Pike still had relations with Bond. She likes her surrogate and this lifestyle. Greer wants to see his real life. Both of them lost their son in a car crash, perhaps this is why she is on so many pills. Their relationship is teetering though but it comes together in the end. In an intense foot chase, Willis uses his surrogate and shows the impressive jumping and running ability a surrogate maintains. It would be very hard for a human to escape. Greer is chasing the man who killed the surrogate in the beginning and possibly Canter's son. But this chase extends to part of a city where surrogates are not allowed. Some humans have cordoned off a section of the city for themselves. They loath surrogates and everyone is magnetically searched upon entering this ghetto. It is called the Dreds I believe. This human pawn is saved by humans and he escapes with the weapon. Willis's surrogate is shot and killed by an old hag with a shotgun.

The FBI suspsends Greer since he was not allowed into the Dred' neighborhood. These humans are controlled or managed by a self proclaimed prophet. A dread locked Ving Rhames who is The Prophet. He spreads his message in a protected radio studio. He offers regular speaches to all who will listen and has some bully looking body guards to boot. They follow this nobody and confiscate this weapon he has been carrying and hiding.

Canter is not happy with VSI. Their relationship is contentious at best. Canter wanted to restrain surrogates on moral grounds but the VSI board found this preposterous. They loosened and cut the reigns tying VSI with Canter. Canter was banished from his own creation. He grew bitter, this was a public fiasco. His credibility tarnished. He returned to his mansion but still receives royalties for each sold surrogate.

Greer's and Peter's supervisor is Boris Kodjoe who is Stone. He is caught up in this somehow. Hmm... Greer determines his boss is dirty and outsmarts him in his own office. I like this movie because Surrogates have some physical advantages over humans but they are not the Terminator. In fact, the strength of the T-800 in Terminator Salvation was just preposterous. It violated the story line, T-800's are susceptible to shotgun rounds, Connor was hitting it with a grenade launcher without an affect. This is ludicrous. Surrogates are not bullet proof and their wiring and ligaments can be devastated by gun shot wounds, much like our bodies can.

The villian in this movie is not only Stone, but VSI and Canter. The military created the supercharged weapon but seized their production and destroyed them. In fact, when Greer informs the master sergeant that the weapon is in the Dreds, he takes off with a strike team and they eliminate The Prophet. But The Prophet is a surrogate. He is manipulated by Canter. Canter has multiple surrogates. Canter is a high tech wizard, it is hard to contain him and his ideas.

Peters is killed by a real run shot. Canter takes over her surrogate which fools Greer. He uses Greer to obtain the information from Stone. Canter wants to wife away much of humanity. All surrogates, which is about 1 billion strong. He wants to ignite some sort of powerful wave from the FBI's secret command and destroy all surrogates, their users for living a fallacious and artificial lifestyle, which in turn will also devastate VSI. Canter is about to do this before Greer tracks him down. Canter must pay a firm for body guard surrogates. I just thought about this. Canter has Peters who is a surrogate inside the central command where a high tech FBI employee manages this tech center. He is tied up though. Canter dies off, he thinks this is the right course of action. The hero, Greer knows this is a murderous and outlandish idea. Greer takes over the surrogate as Canter slides off the chair. Greer instantly unties the computer manager and tells him it is Greer and demands this techie help him out. Ofcourse the tech obliges, he is on the right side. Switching computers, Greer with the expert advice from the obese techie, interupts the process. He saves the users. But Greer allows the surrogates to die. A million car crashes occur simultaneously. People wake up all over the world, a world without surrogates. Greer would not have it any other way, now he can love his actual wife.

Greer never did like surrogates. VSI was not innocent here but I forgot that facet. The world either got real uglier or prettier depending on what one thinks. The actual crippled or scarred people would want their surrogates back. This movie is extreme in its simplicity but it provokes some severe thought. There would be less babies born and the spread of STD's would come to a stand still.

I would be afraid someone would break into my home while I was using a surrogate and just rob my place or harm my actual body. The idea behind surrogates is to become instantly prettier and to live longer. Also, to enhance one's lifestyle.

There was a scene in this movie which fomented some agitation in me. I felt Greer's frustration when his wife refused to show her actual self, invited some loud and disrespectful friends over and they were enjoying some surrogate drug which induced a high. They treated Greer poorly in his own home, mocking him, he ended up beating one down. I do not blame him. The rest were laughing at him, enjoying his obvious aggravation, I wish he shot them with his weapon. It would not be murder. They are surrogates. They are in his home and then his wife was upset at him. Ouch.

Is this movie more noteworthy than iRobot or Minority Report? I think Minority Report is the one filled with the most fiction. iRobot and Surrogates are awefully accurate I believe. iRobot was exceptional and had more one liners than either. Surrogates is predominant but both of these others carried by Hollywood heavyhitters as well are paramount as well. I think it goes iRobot, Minority Report and then this one. The ending in iRobot and Minority Report had more dramatic endings, certainly iRobot did, but this is open to debate. I thoroughly enjoyed Bruce Willis and this new movie was mind boggling. Surrogates was the real deal.

I allocate this movie four stars.****

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