Friday, February 12, 2010

Surrogates - 3/5

Let's analyze the equation with "Surrogates". Bruce Willis + Action + Science Fiction + Asimov inspired Robot caution tale = a must see for this guy. Granted, now that the credits are rolling, I can't say that I wasn't disappointed with the outcome of the film, even if I did have a fun time watching the film when it was on.

Bruce Willis is a cop living in a world where everyone operates 'surrogates' (or mechanical representations of themselves) to 'live' in the world. People stay at home in a machine and go to work and live their life through their mechanical selves. But a new weapon that appears on the streets is able to not only disable surrogates but also kill their operators. So its up to Willis to put the pieces together to and figure out who is behind the weapon and unlock a bigger conspiracy that makes him question the worth of personal experience.

The comparisons with an Asimov inspired Robot caution tale was something that kept coming to the forefront of the movie as it continued to play. A lot of the comparisons in my mind I kept making were the the Will Smith project "I, Robot" more often than not. Just like that one, this film was a action packed fun entertaining film but lacked the depth the intelligence that it should have been sporting the entire time. It definitely touches on many aspects of the eternal Sci-Fi question: what makes us human? But never really gives a viewer a lot of details to chew on. Let's hit the examples.

We have Willis whom is left suddenly without a surrogate and having to figure things out in the 'real' world for himself again. They touch on this idea that his wife is losing herself to her surrogate allowing the robot to be her rather than coming to terms with herself but the scenes with them together run more like a TV drama rather than true gripping science fiction detail. There are moments but they never really go the distance. The same goes with the 'dreads', a group of people who live without any machine in rebellion against surrogates. We get the surface value of the idea but the film never goes into the reasons or shows the struggle between the two worlds. Hell, even the villain behind our weapon could have had a grand canyon of weight to his decisions but he just comes across a more or less crazy. It's things like this where they could have taken the chance to hit some points that this film just lacked.

The film did entertain me immensely though. As a person that loves sci-fi I was digging the concepts and story and the action was pretty legit for this kind of film that one could see wasn't made to be a huge blockbuster. So I did enjoy the film. It just had far more potential than it went to.

This film could have used another half hour or so of solid story depth added with some clever dialogue or issues that could have been brought to life. In the end, it ends up being a fun action film more than a classic Science Fiction film that it could have been. Take it with a grain of salt and don't forget to live your life for yourself. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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