1 hour, 28 minutes
PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned.
for intense sequences of violence, disturbing images, language, sexuality and a drug-related scene.
Bruce Willis ... Greer
Radha Mitchell ... Peters
Rosamund Pike ... Maggie
Boris Kodjoe ... Stone
James Francis Ginty ... Canter
James Cromwell ... Older Canter
Ving Rhames ... The Prophet
|In the not-so-distant future, technology has advanced to the point that humans use mind-controlled robots to go about their daily lives, letting the robots - or surrogates - go out into the world while they relax at home. Bruce Willis ("The Sixth Sense") plays Greer, an FBI investigator (in a ludicrous blond wig) who is haunted by the memory of a dead son, but living his life like everyone else through his surrogate. He is and paired up with spunky female partner Peters (Radha Mitchell "Phone Booth"), whose surrogate only looks a little less ridiculous because she requires less makeup to look perfect.
Thanks to the surrogates there hasn't been a murder in years, until suddenly a young couple is gunned down in an alley, frying the brains of their actual users back at home. One of the victims turns out to be the son of Canter (James Cromwell "Babe"), the mad scientist inventor of surrogates who later fell out with the company he founded. Greer and Peters' hunt for the killer leads them to the reservation on the edge of Boston, where anti-surrogate humans have gathered under the leadership of "The Prophet" (Ving Rhames "Pulp Fiction"). From there unravels a giant conspiracy that leads right to the top.
Blessedly Greer's surrogate is broken early in the film forcing Greer to walk around in the world himself for the first time in years and relieving us of the sight of Willis' ridiculous wig. But once we start seeing the actual humans behind the surrogates, things get more and more illogical and confusing.
Director Jonathan Mostow ("Terminator 3"
) does a reasonable job of interspersing live humans with the surrogates, but there's still a lot of random shooting at robots who do nothing but grin back and keep walking. Bur there are some interesting special effects. While there's actually only one weapon that can kill the actual humans, for much of the film it's not used or missing entirely. And despite a few interesting ideas in Surrogates, there's too much emphasis on the nonsensical conspiracy plot and frenetic action sequences to allow the audience to become really involved in the goings-on.