A Surrogate is the future, based on the breakthrough of today. It was released on September 25, directed by Jonathan Mostow with screenplay done by Michael Ferris & John D Brancato. The movie begins with documentary of modern technology and things to come in the near future. They show actual footage of Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University and his creation - Geminoid, a prototype android double of himself. In this film, a surrogate goes from a way to help the disabled to a commercial franchise. You can lie in bed and live your life through your surrogate - a robot that hears, feels, sees, and works for you. You can sin without consequence. Live in complete safety without doing a single thing. Surrogates, are made and programmed by the company, are now widely accepted and are a common part of society.
Police officer, Tom Greer (Bruce Willis), and officer Peters (Radha Mitchell), are investigating a mysterious murder of a Surrogate who belonged to the son of Mr. Canters (James Cromwell), the inventor of the Surrogates, and his date for the evening (who actually turned out to be a man). The mystery is on how the host is killed through the Surrogate since it is impossible to kill via Surrogate connection, or so they thought. VSI is trying to put a lid on the whole situation. Tom is looking for clues, trying to find this new weapon and killer. Some suspicions lead to The Prophet (Ving Rhames) leader of the "return the human movement". He lives in a reservation, a Surrogate free zone, where all the humans who refuse the "Surrogate way of life" live. Like all reservations they are rundown and violence runs rampant. SPOILER ALERT: SKIP TO THE END OF PARAGRAPH!!! The Surrogates can see for you, what you do is also recorded by VSI. They find the killer through one of the recordings of the victims and then track him and chase him around the city. The suspect uses this new weapon on the police and kills 6 of them in a helicopter. Tom ends up chasing the suspect through the reservation, but the locals interfere by shooting his surrogate and putting it up on a pike. The Prophet finds the man they were chasing and takes the device from him, only asking about its origins, then killing him, but he doesn't know who gave him the weapon. Now, Tom has to continue his investigation without his surrogate. Tom is now venturing out from the safety of his home, for the first time in a long time. He goes to the military and find out that such a weapon doesn't "exist" but later finds out it was part of a VSI/Military Project. It stops the Surrogate by sending a virus to override the safety system and kills the Surrogate & host. The Prophet, with weapon in hand, asks his followers to take the weapon to VSI and he has someone on the inside to meet them. The military come after the device in the Reservation. In the melee The Prophet is "killed" (he is actually a surrogate himself). Meanwhile, Peters is murdered and her surrogate is compromised via internal hack. She ends up with the device inside the VSI building where she can upload this virus to all the units. The movie has many more twist and turns, but I left out the good stuff so you can enjoy the film.
Great concept, the whole robotic body double is something that I found interesting. Bruce Willis does a very good job with solid acting and great pace. The Surrogates is a film based on today's technology, not some farfetched sci-fi. I think they did a good job on the whole as far as Sci-fi mystery goes. I actually thought it had a good ending. I was surprised by what happened and I hope you will be too.
I think they should have gone a little deeper on back-story. The five minute clip does the trick but it left me asking, "Then what happens?" Oddly enough everything else wasn't that far advanced. I wasn't impressed with all the other things going on: cars, lifestyle, and machines didn't look that futuristic. I mean come on, we can make robots but that's it? The military still has cool weapons and we are stuck with crap.
Keep an eye out for the TV screens in the background where the main characters come into VSI for the first time. You will see the head of the Terminator on one of them. The film is based on the unending laziness of man. I think what was most impressive is the fact that we aren't that far off from that technology or the ability to exploit it. I give Surrogates a TOV 3 stars out of 5.