Starring: Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Radha Mitchell
Directed by: Jonathan Mostow
Written by: Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato
Studio: Touchstone Pictures
Runtime: 89 minutes
Release Date: 1/26/2010
In the near future, 98% of the worlds population have physically cut themselves off from society. Though they still interact on a daily basis, they do so through the use of remote controlled avatars known as Surrogates. These surrogates are a safe way for people to interact in the world without leaving their homes and have actually caused the crime rate and murder rate to drop significantly. But that is all about to change…
Based on the graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, “Surrogates” is a sci-fi action movie starring Bruce Willis as Tom Greer, a detective working on a case in which two people have died while still being connected to their Surrogates. With the help of his partner Peters (Radha Mitchell), Greer quickly tracks the murderer to a robot/surrogate free zone where his surrogate is terminated. Greer, now in his older, bald and weaker human body must figure out who is really behind this conspiracy before the killer strikes again, this time on a much grander scale.
Surrogates is a popcorn movie and should be viewed as such. I think Jonathan Mostow did a very good job of telling the story and getting the message across and it seems about on par with some of his earlier films such as U571, Breakdown and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. The action is thoughtful and drives the story forward and Bruce Willis is, well, Bruce Willis. The one caveat I want to inject is around Ving Rhames performance as “The Prophet”. I have always thought that Ving Rhames is an extremely underrated actor and his performance in this movie only gives validity to my statement. The action in Surrogates is plentiful and standard fair for a Bruce Willis action movie. The rest of the cast deliver convincing performances with Ving Rhames being the standout. Though the story is predictable, it is evenly paced throughout.
Surrogates is a social commentary on how much the human race has come to rely on technology and a reminder on how important it is to unplug and distance ourselves from it so it does not take over our lives, unless we are talking about A/V then none of that applies.:bigsmile: What I like about the movie is that it doesn’t try to preach that technology is bad, in fact it makes several references to point out that technology is a useful tool that can become something dangerous and addictive.
“Surrogates” is rated PG-13 for violence, drug use and sexuality. There is nothing too offensive for the ages that the movie is intended for. There is a scene outside a club where two people are making out and you can see stockings, garters, etc. There is also a scene where “Surrogates” are sitting around a table and taking “hits” off of an electronic shock device that looks a lot like a water bong. The scenes where faces are peeled from the surrogate faces may be a little frighting for younger audiences as well.
“Surrogates” looks very good on Bluray. The MPEG-4 AVC 1080P transfer is presented with a 2.40:1 aspect ratio and is a very clean transfer. Different shades of black are pretty much perfect as are the different shades of colors and textures. One technique that the filmmakers used in the film was to give the surrogates a very radiant and unnatural almost doll-like quality while giving humans a very warm and natural look. This comes in very clear and detailed however; I’m not really a huge fan of its implementation.
The DTS-HD Master Audio is what really shines on the technical aspect of the Bluray. There is a good use of the surrounds and the voices are crisp and balanced evenly with the rest of the sounds throughout the movie. Explosions and collisions are proportionately loud and rich with bass while the quieter scenes are full of detail and do a lot to add to the overall mood of a scene. While not a reference level audio design, the audio track was quite a pleasure to hear.
Deleted scenes, A more perfect you: the science of Surrogates, Breaking the frame: a graphic novel comes to life, "I Will Not Bow" music video by Breaking Benjamin, Feature audio commentary by director Jonathan Mostow
I looked at the deleted scenes as well as the featurettes but did not really have much interest in finishing them. The music video sounded great but I am a Breaking Benjamin fan so they may be subjective. The commentary did not really speak out to me with anything interesting either so while there were several extras, they really don’t do much to enhance the overall experience. I would have much rather had a digital copy Disney!
“Surrogates” is a good popcorn movie. I picked it up with the $10 off coupon being offered from Disney and feel that I paid a fair price. I would have been disappointed had I paid full price. It’s worth a rental for fans of the genre or for Bruce Willis fans and will make for a good Saturday night or rainy day viewing. For anyone interested, I have posted the coupon below but it is only valid until 1/31/2010.