Surrogates - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Surrogates Reviews

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Super Reviewer
September 29, 2009
Not a bad sci fi move. Some plot holes here and there but otherwise not a bad flick.
Super Reviewer
½ August 30, 2009
Not a movie I would have ever picked out for myself to watch - wasn't too thrilled when husband chose it. Oh great, another dumb Bruce Willis action flick.
However... Much to my surprise, a decent and original storyline. What a scary vision of the future. Though the robots look great, and the idea of sending them out to work etc is not without its appeal, it was depressing to see the "real" people looking slobby and quite honestly depressed.
Also interesting to see Rosamind Pyke in an earlier role.
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2010
In the near future, the population has taken to living their own lives vicariously through the use of robotic avatars but when an assassin starts destroying the machines and their users with a top secret weapon, a lone FBI agent begins to question the value of his isolated, second hand life. The premise of Surrogates has a lot of promise; it's clearly a parody of the logical conclusion of social media and the obsession with superficial appearance and the decreasing face to face interactions of everyday life. In this it is reminiscent of the work of Philip K. Dick with a dash of Isaac Asimov. In fact the story plays out like a darker, seedier version of I, Robot but in a lot of ways it just isn't quite dark enough. Bruce Willis brings the same kind of desperation and vulnerability he brought to Twelve Monkeys which works really well but the studio's desperation to snag that 12 certificate compromises the script somewhat, leaving a halfway house between clever social commentary and generic sci-fi action thriller that makes it feel a little uneven. It's certainly not bad though, and it's certainly a lot smarter and more entertaining than the average Michael Bay debacle.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2009
Decent enough movie, just nothing special. Could have been so much better.
Super Reviewer
July 16, 2011
I actually liked this movie. It was quite entertaining. Though the rating looks bad.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2010
Interesting sci-fi flick. A different twist on the I-Robot idea. There was a lot more opportunity with this subject, but it was very superficial.
Super Reviewer
½ November 1, 2010
I didn't know too much about the story when I saw this. Surprised it doesn't seem to be well known and got some bad reviews? It did feel like a mix of films from the likes of Gamer, Total Recall, Matrix, Blade Runner, irobots and even A.I. In the near future people plug in using their brains to control a robot which effectively they use to live there day to day lives. No danger of disease, accidents, violence and of course you can look like whatever you want to through your surrogate. Until someone found a way of destroying the robot also kills the controller while they are plugged in! This has a good cast, cool effects and was enjoyable to watch. Highly unoriginal though and it did feel like a collection of ideas from the mentioned films. Never the less this is still an entertaining film worth checking out!!
Super Reviewer
½ February 3, 2010
Surrogates is quite a swift little Bruce Willis Sci Fi. With two main backdrops (the class/ surrogate divide) and the other host divide in the story using cameras and digital filming that remind me a lot of the quality Battlestar Galactica Re-imagined was shot in, unfortunately as the ending progressed the story lost its momentum. I could have suggested bringing in another famous actor appearance to make the ending memorable. Or even bringing in a character from the first scene for your typical kick in the crutch. Oh well.
Super Reviewer
March 4, 2011
Here is a bit of sci-fi that, while exploring an interesting premise, has a gaping hole in the middle of its logic. The concept is that sometime in the not so distant future science will have advanced to the point where a human has the ability to control, and therefore live through a robotic replica or surrogate (as in the title).

The possibilities are endless as to how such an invention may change the world in which we live, but sadly the script instead falls on cliché devices and focuses on a more action driven story instead of the possible social and economic implications.

Here's the hole in the logic as I see it - first and foremost: if you could jack in to a robot who would do all your dirty work for you, why then would society hold to the standard conventions of the workplace? The film shows the bustling streets of Boston, filled with teaming hordes of pedestrians and traffic jams - all the people running around with places to go and people to see... but they are freakin' robots, not people! So why drive at all? As the film later shows, the robots have some pretty awesome physical capabilities - so why use fossil fuel vehicles to get around when the robots could run much faster than the cars?

Secondly: the film totally misses some interesting opportunities to say something profound. For example, if everyone is inhibiting robotic avatars, and said avatars could be designed to look like whatever you wanted them to be, then how would the dating process work? What is it that attracts us to each other in the first place - visual and pheromone stimuli - but a robot would not be putting out pheromones, nor would it represent what you really look like - so how do you pick one robot over another to chat up?

Instead of exploring such things, the film sets up a hokey story that carries very little emotional weight - somebody is out to destroy the surrogates. OK, so the film tries its best to make you question the validity of using surrogates in the first place, but I for one remain ambivalent towards whether the surrogates should be eradicated or not - I mean, to each their own - if you want to live in a video game, that's your choice.

The film also falls into cliché and in my opinion total bs by establishing a resistance group who are granted a free zone in each major city so they can live crappy, barely subsistent lives that are free of the surrogates. Not likely on so many levels.

But enough about the concepts of the film (although the concepts are all important, for if the story doesn't hold water then all the slick CGI and good acting in the world won't save it). The film does have seamless CGI is very glossy and well filmed and the acting is interesting - considering that for the most part, the people you see on screen aren't actually people, but robots emoting what people are telling them to emote. There is a kind of stilted ballroom dance feeling to all the verbal interplay - but that's by design.

Bruce Willis is cast as the major focus of the film - a police detective who appreciates the fact that he can be in harms way with his robot without actually putting his self into peril. However he starts to feel disconnected, especially with his wife, who after the loss of their child, retreats into the surrogate almost completely, as if her memories of loss aren't as vivid while inhabiting metal skin (another bit of nonsense).

There are chase scenes and a kind of who-done-it mystery that drive the film, but in the end you really don't care much about any of it - perhaps because they are all just surrogates anyway. I feel cheated, as the idea was profound and could have been made into a much different, and way more interesting film. This sure isn't Blade Runner.
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2009
Didn't hate it...but I didn't love it either.

There were some interesting concepts and visuals, but I feel like this was just a slight variation on stories that we've seen before.
Super Reviewer
January 4, 2011
This is one of the better scifi thrillers of the past decade.
Super Reviewer
December 23, 2010
Guess I'm in the minority when it comes to this film. It wasn't mega high on my to-see list, but I knew I had to see it nonetheless cause there's no Bruce Willis film I won't watch. I actually liked it a lot. Very entertaining story using the virtual reality scheme a la Avatar, Lawnmower Man, etc., in which people put on a contraption and relax and have fun in a virtual land. This film takes an interesting concept in which you choose a face and body (i.e., a "surrogate") that looks like you or looks more like you would LIKE to look, and you live a different life, but it goes deeper. Over 90% of people have a surrogate and one side says it's awesome, while the other, ironically the side that includes the person who came up with the idea and introduced surrogates to people in the first place, wants to get rid of them all, so people can go back to being real people rather than robot-like. As with most Bruce Willis flicks, this one's a keeper, full of nice action, twists, everything you need for a good movie, which this is.
Super Reviewer
November 8, 2010
Okay, I guess. The people in it are beautiful, Bruce Willis good in everything, but I definitely got to the credits of the movie trying to figure out if I liked it or not. Probably not the best sign...
Super Reviewer
September 15, 2009
I didn't hear much about this film after it came out, but I really like the story premise and the cast. I'm not sure why I didn't hear much about it because I thought it was great. It was better than I thought it would be and I like the way they used the whole surrogate ran future. It was a little over the top in terms of people totally giving their lives over to these machines, but it put a neat spin on things and is not as far off from humanity's usage of technology today. We live in virtual environments all the time, but just take it for granted. I recommend this film to anyone who likes a little science fiction, now and then.
Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2010
If this film was trying to reach psychological, it didn't make the cut. Similar to such films as I Robot, Surrogates models a utopian society where robots are the principle life form among humans. This film was lacking in true action, drama, and good acting. The plot was pointless and not salvagable. Willis was decent as always.
Super Reviewer
½ July 2, 2010
Thrilling and underrated. I expected this to be very mediocre, and it may be in some aspects, but on the whole, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. The story concept is pretty cool, even if it has borrowed a lot from movies like The Terminator, Blade Runner and I, Robot. In that regard, it doesn't have much new to offer us. But it's still an exciting watch, and just the type of sci-fi movie that I happen to be into. Great performance by Bruce Willis as well, who handles his role with ease and conviction.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2010
I liked it. I thought it was good. it wasn't great and it has problems though. I would recommend this movie to people who like sci fi or these kinds of movies. if you want a movie that's similar to this but better then watch gamer. B-
Super Reviewer
½ June 30, 2010
The farmer from Babe once again creates more robots to help destroy humanity just as he did in I Robot.
Super Reviewer
September 25, 2009

I,Robot, Avatar were out of body experiences, but livley and exciting and entertaining to watch.

Surrogates, for all its pros and a concept which could have made it a blockbuster.... was as entertaining and exciting like the lifeless robots which were the focus of the movie.

As always, the movie fails to reach its full potential, but this time it lacks so severley in every facet, starting with the very mismatched cast. Bruce Willis tries, but I dont think sci-fi is really his area of expertise, and the cop role is so severly undermined by the science ficition is leaves him treading water like a first grader. Everyone else was useless, especially Ving Rhames as the "Prophet" - it was a casting flop.

I can't be bothered going into the rest, though the visuals are okay, the puppetry was very "Blade Runner" and thus not really as effective as it should be.... it was laughable.

The plot was twisty and could have worked well if it wasn't so poorly played out and directed.

A dismal failure.... though a remake would be useful...... 20 years down the track. I think the story and concept deserves that much.
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