Directed by Jonathan Mostow.
Written by Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato.
Starring Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike and James
Release Year: 2009
Review Date: 10/3/09
I'm a Bruce Willis fan so maybe that's why I
thought, well, there's no way "Surrogates" will be any good, but
maybe my boy will put the hurt on a couple of guys, crack some
signature one-liners and we can call it a day. Plus, I thought
the trailer wasn't bad.
The best thing about "Surrogates" is that it
doesn't totally suck. Willis plays an FBI agent in the near
future named Greer who lives in a society where 98% of humans have a
physical clone body that they use to move about in society while
operating this clone from a rig based in their individual home.
These surrogates are essentially perfect, ageless, deathproof units
that allow for people to stay home in their safe haven and avoid the
ills of human contact until their natural death. However, in
this new society, someone has just killed the son of the inventor of
these surrogates, a guy named Canter (James Cromwell), and since
this is the first murder of a person through their surrogate device,
Greer's gotta find out what the hell is going on!
The plot is blah, and it's unnecessarily
twisty later on, but I did like the underlying idea of a society
that becomes out of touch with itself by allowing for people to run
around in these surrogate forms. I've had this feeling for a
while that people have gotten too comfortable not talking to real
people, and "Surrogates" takes that two steps further with its
futureview, which I thought was interesting. But, then we get
a fairly hackneyed PG-13 thriller experience, complete with Willis
not even able to be Willis and a surprising lack of action for what
to me seemed like it would be an action film.
It doesn't help that we don't get a cast
worth a damn, or that Ving Rhames plays a leader of the "fuck these
surrogates" resistance (complete with bad dreads), or that the movie
takes place in Boston, which I'm still hoping gets burned to the
ground any day now. (I really, REALLY hate Boston.) By
the way, former Bond girl Rosamund Pike (she was the bad one in
Day") plays Greer's wife, and she keeps making me think that
she's going to turn in a performance worthy of consideration and it
keeps on not happening...I just have to admit it to myself now that
it's probably never going to happen.
"Surrogates" was perfect for $8 and what I
expected it to be--a light, mostly forgettable experience that at
least got the mind going for a little while before delving back into
mediocrity. This will be hot for a week and then be gone
again...one wonders what Willis will do to bide his time until the
next big actioner comes his way!
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard