In a futuristic utopian world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, an FBI agent ( Bruce Willis) begins to investigate the first murder in years, and unravels a vast conspiracy. The film starts out 14 years earlier where the government is developing Surrogates (cybernetic organisms) for military applications. Flash forward seven years. As the surrogates get more refined, they become available for commercial use and are being sold to the public at large. Flash forward to present day. Surrogates are as common place as automobiles and everybody has one. They are even marketing them for children. Surrogates R Us?
The human subjects sit in a "stim chair" which connects them to their surrogates. The surrogate is then activated and goes out into the real world to work or play as a prettier, physically perfect replacement. Crime has gone down and is "virtually" eliminated until an unknown assassin kills a surrogate couple making out in an alley behind a nightclub. Why is it that couples making out are always the ones that get killed? Enter the detective (Bruce Willis), that is, his younger, handsomer, surrogate with hair. When it is discovered that killing a surrogate can also kill it's human counterpart, the consequences become evident. Is it a random act of violence, or something more insidious. Who would want to upset the perfect balance between man (or woman) and machine?
We also discover there is a faction of disaffected citizens who passionately oppose the inhumanity of this technological lifestyle. They live in a "Humans Only" part of the city known as "The Reservation", with the leader of the sect known only as "The Prophet". Things start to get dicey when Willis' surrogate is destroyed and almost kills his human version in the process. When Willis' is disconnected from his surrogate, he starts to actually "feel" again and realizes that his life is in shambles and his marriage is on the rocks. When he tries in vain to reconnect with his human wife, its clear that she has no intention of giving up her perfect surrogate lifestyle. Forced back out on the streets, Willis must uncover the truth and stop the continuing robotic/human body count which is continuing to escalate.
Bruce Willis once again gives a solid performance playing both characters, the clean, handsome and fit surrogate detective, and his older, gruffer counterpart. The supporting cast is excellent with Rosamund Pike (Fracture, Doom), who plays his surrogate-obsessed wife, Radha Mitchell (Silent Hill, Man on Fire), who plays his surrogate detective partner, and Boris Kodjoe (Resident Evil: Afterlife, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder), who plays Willis' boss at the Agency. Rounding out the rest of the cast are James Cromwell (Masters of Science Fiction, Spiderman 3), James Francis Ginty (Days of our Lives), Michael Cudlitz (Southland, Lost), and Ving Rhames (Piranha 3-D, Day of the Dead) as The Prophet.
Surrogates is directed by Johnathan Mostow who is no stranger to science fiction having directed Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines. Mostow keeps the story and action moving as the plot unravels with an assortment of twists and turns. The film is a fresh take on a world where robots rule. Recently we've seen the future of machines gone bad in films like "I, Robot", the "Terminator" franchise and even the classic "Westworld" where robots go haywire in a futuristic theme park. In this case though, the GQesque androids have made the world a better place. It's also a cautionery tale about how we live our lives in a technological world with Texting, Facebook and Twitter allowing everyone to be more and more disconnected.
The action and eye-popping visual effects are enough to keep even die hard fans glued to their seats. The film is based on the graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele and the script is written by John Brancato and Micheal Ferris. The production team includes production designer, Jeff Mann (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Transformers, Gone in Sixty Seconds), Emmy Award-winning costume designer April Ferry (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, U-571, HBO's Rome), veteran cinematographer Oliver Wood (The Bourne Identity trilogy, Fantastic Four, U-571), seasoned film editor Kevin Stitt (The Kingdom, Cloverfireld, Breakdown) and Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Mark Stetson (Superman Returns, 2010, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring).
Build your own Surrogate. The high-tech website for Surrogates is not just merely interactive, but actually lets you create your very own Surrogate. Choose the gender, the hairstyle, the clothing and even upload a picture of your face to complete the new you. And guess what? They even talk. By typing in a phrase or sentence, your surrogate will repeat it verbatim. You even have the choice of the type of voice you want. I created my surrogate using a headshot of myself, that says the phrase " I am your surrogate, how can I serve you? It's a real kick. Disney spared no expense to make this one of the coolest movie websites ever. Check it out and create a surrogate of your very own. Just don't tell your significant other that you have one. Go to the website at www.chooseyoursurrogate.com
In the real world, there are some major advances in the research and scientific development in robotics. A Japanese scientist named Hiroshi Ishiguro has been using a plastic version of himself to lecture around the world without leaving his Osaka office. In North Carolina, a rhesus monkey has been wired to make a robot in Kyoto walk merely by thinking. This technology continues to improve with groundbreaking advances that are already benefiting people with debilitating diseases.
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