Friday, December 18, 2009

Surrogates - Movie Review

(Saw this at the $1.50 theater.)


Starring Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, James Cromwell, Ving Rhames and Boris Kodjoe.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow.

Surrogates is a smart idea dumbed down. There's so much potential here for it to be the next Blade Runner, and it settles for not even being the next I Robot. Looks like it hedged its bets on budget too.

This is a future where people can stay in their homes and live their lives through surrogate robots, and we get to the point in this future where almost everyone has a surrogate. There's less crime, less death in this world, but there's also those crazy protesters who think surrogates are killing humanity. For some reason they're mostly rednecks, and they're given their own territory in east Boston to live, like a native American tribe.

Bruce Willis plays a cop who must investigate the first murder in years, where someone's concocted a device that'll kill the user of a surrogate if they "kill" the surrogate. Naturally he accidentally uncovers corporate espionage in his investigation.

Jonathan Mostow films most of the movie as claustrophobically as U-571. We get off-balance close-ups in many scenes which never really made sense to me. And while it's not really the movie's fault, it bugs me when the trailer gives away the ending. I spend the second half of the movie going "Well, I know we still need 'this' scene so there's only two possible ways this movie can end."

I don't know what sausage-grinder this screenplay went through, but it came across as the third draft of the third team who butchered whatever original cleverness may or may not have been there.

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