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The Surrogates – Review

Written by: By: Shekhar H Hooli
Published: Monday, October 12, 2009, 9:38 [IST]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]Disney produced Hollywood movie The Surrogates is a semi sci-fi thriller. The movie, which features Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike in lead roles, is based on a comic book miniseries written by Robert Venditti. Although the film seems to have borrowed heavily from Blade Runner, The Matrix and Total Recall, it has an identity of its own.

These days, man is passing by the corporate-controlled world. He is growing more and more dependent on online avataras. He does not come out from his home. He wants to do everything online. He is getting addicted to the social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. In disguise, he wants to see what everyone out there feel. In the course of technological development in future, man might create his cybernetic avatars/surrogates to do all his works, which might lead him to trouble.

The film The Surrogate is all about this. The movie is set in a futuristic world, where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots. In this era, crime is virtually non-existent. The movie is not only a disturbing look into the future, but is also a powerful commentary on the world we live in today. The movie touches poignant subjects such as gender roles, technology, American consumer culture and advertising. Meanwhile, it also focuses on telling an exciting science fiction crime tale.

The movie The Surrogates has two plots. The main plot of the film is Greer attempting to find out who is behind the weapon that killed the inventor of surrogates along with its original self. The subplot deals with Greer"s wife Maggie Greer (Rosamind Pike), who never unplugs from her surrogate and lives a false life as a surrogate stylist.

When the film opens, it has been 14 years since Lionel Canter (James Cromwell) a college student, who developed a high-tech surrogate phenomenon. The movie starts with the mysterious murder of his surrogate as well as his own self. Both the brains are fried and liquefied.

FBI agents Tom Greer and Peters (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell) start off the investigation on the murder. Greer sends his surrogate, but it gets fried and destroyed in during a chase. As the mystery of a conspiracy unfolds Greer himself comes outside in his human form in order to solve the crimes. He does an investigation on the weapon called BD gun, the MacGuffin, which destroys the surrogates and their operators.

Director Jonathan Mostow has come out as a capable genre technician while exhibiting his wit and graft through the movie The Surrogates. The film"s action is top notch. Especially, the chase scene that involves a helicopter crash is really marvelous. But Jonathan"s flimsy narration seems to have failed in handling the elegance of its overall conceit.

However, the director has made a right choice for lead role of the movie. Bruce Willis, who is a versatile actor, has given a credible performance as FBI agent Tom Greer. He has managed to carry whole responsibility of the movie on his back. The movie also has a fairly strong supporting cast which includes James Cromwell, Radha Mitchell and Ving Rhames.

In a nutshell, The Surrogates is a thought provoking semi-action movie. The director has come out with an interesting concept, but he has failed to execute in onscreen.

Bruce Willis as Agent Tom Greer
Radha Mitchell as Agent Peters
Rosamund Pike as Maggie Greer
Ving Rhames as The Prophet
Boris Kodjoe as Andrew Stone
Jack Noseworthy as Miles Strickland
James Cromwell as Dr. Lionel Canter

Topics: shekhar h hooli, the surrogates, jonathan mostow, radha mitchell, rosamund pike, robert venditti, walt disney, bruce willis
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