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3.8 out of 5 stars129
3.8 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 January 2014
I first viewed Surrogates upon its home format release and positively found it very ordinary. Viewing it again, with focus and in solitude, it proved to be a far better experience.

The action scenes are what you would expect for a multi-plex appeasing popcorner, loud, colourful and owing great debt to modern technology. Yet to dismiss this totally as one of those easy money making blockbuster movies is most unfair.

Surrogates oozes intrigue, even if it doesn't quite deliver on the smartness written on the page. The idea that in the future robotic alter egos can carry out our everyday mundane functions is cracker-jack, and it opens up a whole can of berserker worms.

This is not merely an excuse to have Bruce Willis running around exploding surrogate robots, as much fun as that is of course, there's a deeper emotional core pulsing away as Willis fights the good fight to make sure being human is not cast aside like a thing of the past, that as flawed as we are, hiding away in a surrogate is not the answer.

This axis of the story is beautifully realised by the plot strand involving Willis and Rosamund Pike as his wife, with both actors doing fine work to give it the required emotional heft. It may ultimately lose itself to a standard conspiracy plot, but there's intelligence within to make Surrogates a better film than it first appears. 7/10
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on 4 March 2010
And one that is becoming more relevant at that. Bruce Willis is superb as a detective who is investigating a murder, in a future society where a murder hasn't been committed for years! Why?

People in this future never go out. Instead, a robot/avatar copy of themselves, which they can add their personality to, goes to work, goes to the mall, goes out, while the real person stays at home in safety. Sounds farfetched? Think again. Think about how many people these days spend more time online on sites like Facebook and not interacting with real people . . . then see that SURROGATES is networking gone too far in the future! And the real people who stay in are becoming obese couch potatoes like the starship passengers in WALL-E and turning to alcohol and drugs to make their lives better, even though crime on the outside is down.

Things take on a new twist when FBI Agent Tom Geer(Willis, who also plays his surrogate robot in a small role, which was clever)investigating the death of the son of the Chief Executive of the robot manufacturing corporation that made the surrogates; discovering an armed resistance group opposed to the technology wanting a return to humanity. The pace never slackens and the ending - WOW. Not what I expected at all, which really made this a five-star review. I won't give it away, but it does make you think hard about how too dependent on high-tech gadgets and introverted lifestyles we have become.

Ironic, as one reviewer stated, I'm posting it on a site like this, but SURROGATES, one of the most underrated movies of 2009 by critics, comes highly recommended!!
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on 29 December 2009
This film was an interesting twist on the robot as human concept, with a plot that managed to keep the viewer interested, up until the silly ending which I did not like. A high tech company has specialized in mass producing surrogates, or personal robots, which are sold to the American middle class. They are quickly adopted to perform routine functions and then essentially perform high level functions (like one's job). The main theme was how the surrogates assumed people's lives and identities to such an extent the flesh & blood owner of the surrogate could stay home and presumably pursue higher level interests. The reality was most people simply fell into a spiritual stupor, resorting to alcohol or drugs to pass their time.

Some of the actors were very good and up to the task of portraying themselves in robotic fashion (this doesn't require great acting skill but the screenplay was quite good) but most of the time they felt miscast like Ving Rhames character. I thought Bruce Willis did a good job though in the lead role(s) as FBI Agent Tom Geer (he also played his "surrogate" as a very low key robot). Bruce's surrogate is investigating the death of the son of the founder of the corporation that invented and produced the surrogates. This kicked off the main plot, which centered around an armed resistance group opposed to surrogates and attempting to defeat the surrogates and the corporation that produced them.

If the plot sounds confused, at times it is, and the ending was less than satisfying. But for a far fetched sci-fi movie about robots, this was one of the decent ones, District 9 was alot better though.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 31 October 2013
The underlying scenario for this film is that in the near future people will live their lives vicariously through android surrogates. Bruce Willis investigates a murder, where the fail-safes failed and the operator is found dead, at home, in their bed. So far so good, an intriguing if slightly generic plot, but the film totally squanders the intriguing premise and scene after scene that should drip with menace, or excitement, falls flat.

If the film had been directed by David Cronenberg, or Paul Verhoeven, or Brian de Palma, or indeed lots of folk, it could have been ripe with creepy vibes and full throttle scenes. However it has been filmed to please a wide demographic and displease no one, and just ends up as a bland soup of a movie that reminds you of other far more memorable films, checking off the decent bits from the trailer.

This is just a time passer of a film, worth sticking with, but falling woefully short of what it could have been.
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VINE VOICEon 17 October 2009
Surrogates posits a world where we humans have almost entirely divorced ourselves from reality and entirely embraced a virtual existence. Each one of us lives our lives vicariously via an android which we control remotely. Just an extension of the logic we are following today perhaps.

This is quite an interesting idea which builds upon the work of Philip K Dick, particularly Bladerunner, in examining the nature of consciousness. It also examines the fears that some of us have about how much technology is separating us from experiencing the real world; for example instead of talking to a friend about this film, I am posting a review on Amazon (which is fairly ironic in the circumstances).

The film does not entirely live up to these grand ideas in its execution. The plot is not wholly convincing and the film does not fully grab the viewer's emotions, although Bruce Willis does turn in his usual solid performance.

Nonetheless, it is good to see a modern science fiction work which goes beyond special effects (although this has plenty of those as well).
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Imagine a world where you live your life through the eyes of a surrogate.
The story tells of an investigation into a murder of the 'surrogate' inventors son by killing the 'Surrogate' with a weapon that had been withdrawn from use because of the consequences of it's use.
When investigating F.B.I officer replicant is destroyed, the agent 'Greer' played by 'Bruce Willis' decides to do the job himself against his superiors instructions.
It does take a while to get going but is an enjoyable, if a little different 'romp' when it does.
'Bruce Willis' continues to entertain in his 'familar' action-mode.
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on 11 May 2014
In the not too distant future, billions of people experience life from the safety of their own homes by linking into perfect robot surrogates via a computer headset. Their surrogates go to work for them, party for them and generally do anything the controller wishes.

For many, using surrogates is a godsend - allowing crippled people to walk, for example - and if the surrogate machines are in any way damaged or destroyed, their controllers can simply purchase another model.

Yet some people disdain this new technology, believing it robs people of their very Human essence. Known as Dreads, this dissident faction has set up a safe zone, a Humans only reserve in Boston, and is lead by an outspoken leader known as The Prophet (VING RHIMES).

When Boston FBI Agents Greer (BRUCE WILLIS) and Peters (RADHA MITCHELL) are called in to investigate a homicide, it soon becomes apparent that something is very wrong. An assassin is stalking the city, a cold killer using an unknown weapon of such magnitude that is not only disables surrogates but immediately kills their users despite all the computer failsafe mechanisms in place. The latest victim just happens to be the son of renowned - and now disgraced - Doctor Lionel Canter (JAMES CROMWELL), the brilliant scientist who developed the notion of robot surrogates.

As Greer and Peters delve deeper into the mystery they soon realise that nobody is who they seem and trust is in short supply. In a race against time before the killer strikes again, they will travel the length of Boston from the Dreads Quarter to the very echelons of power with unseen dangers lurking at every turn.

I found SURROGATES an enjoyable film to watch and despite being based on a successful Graphic Novel, there is plenty of influence from the likes of PHILIP K DICK here too. Indeed, the film reminded me of the hit I, ROBOT and CROMWELL plays an almost identical role in both. All the cast are good in their roles - although RHIMES has little screen time for such an important character - and the purposeful lack of futuristic technology is a bonus as it does not distract from the story.

Extra Features include four deleted scenes (running in at 6 minutes), two quite short but informative Making Of programmes (at 14 minutes and 6 minutes respectively), a 3 minute Music Video and audio commentary from Director, JONATHAN MOSTOW.

Anybody wishing to see an intelligent psychological Sci-Fi thriller will find SURROGATES worthy viewing!
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This interesting and fast moving science fiction thriller is a bit like what you would get by taking a lighter version of David Brin's novel "Kil'n People but except that the copies of themselves who the "real" flesh and blood humans send out into the world to represent them are mechanical avatars called "surrogates" rather than short-lived biological copies.

The similarity to the film version of Isaac Asmimov's book "I,Robot) (Link to book, I, Robot, link to film I Robot - Single Disc Edition [2004] [DVD]) is intensified because the same actor, James Cromwell, who played Alfred Lanning, the "Father of Robotics" in the film "I Robot" plays the father of surrogacy, Doctor Lionel Canter, in this one.

The film opens with the explanation of the backstory: the idea is that in a few year's time most humans rarely leave their homes, sending out remote controlled machines which look like humans - usually like an idealised version of their human operator - to deal with all the business of everyday life. At first sight this appears to have created a near paradise - crime and fatal accidents have dropped to minimal levels. The world appears to be almost entirely free from fear, pain and crime.

But there are stings in the tail. A certain proportion of people have never accepted the idea of the surrogates and have demanded and obtained the right to live in humans-only reservations where the surrogates are banned.

And then two surrogates are attacked outside by a mysterious man on a motorbike - and the investigating cops, FB Agents Greer (Bruce Willis) and Peters (Radha Mitchell) discover that the weapon he used didn't just wreck the surrogates but also killed their human operators. This is not supposed to be possible ...

In the course of the investigation, agent Greer has to abandon the surrogates that he, like almost everyone else, has used for most of his waking life over the past few years, and go out into the world in his own body. This is a revelation to him, but also far more dangerous. And then he finds himself in a race against time to prevent the murder of billions of people ...

Also stars Rosamund Pike as Greer's wife Maggie and Ving Rhames as the mysterious man known as "The Prophet" who is the ringleader of the "Dreads" as people who are strongly opposed to the use of surrogates are known.

Not without a share of holes and inconsistencies, but a tightly edited, thought provoking and reasonable enjoyable film.

If you enjoy "Surrogates" I recommend that you do read David Brin's book "Kil'n people" which explores a broadly similar idea in even more depth.
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In a world of surrogates (high performance machines controlled by people). Looks like a bad guy found a way to bump of surrogates and their controllers. Who is this perpetrator and why is he dispatching certain surrogates? Agent Greer (Bruce Willis) and his FBI partner (Radha Mitchell) Peters have to track down what appears to be a renegade until it looks like he is up against and internal cabal.

Even though the director thinks that, he made some sort of unique story or used unique methods of photography like Panavision lenses. I hate to tell him but it has all been done before.

After watching the coming attractions for this movie we get the while story before we start watching. Also based on a graphic novel again we just about get the whole story ahead of the film. What makes the film is the action and seeing how the novel will be adapted or ignored. The Director Jonathan Mostow is an action person so even though he claims that he is a character [person we know what he really is.

I had fun with the story and think you will. Now you can go two ways form here. For the techno-thriller, watch "I Robot" (2004). For the more human aspect of surrogates, watch "Sleep Dealer" (2008)
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on 20 July 2011
Science Fiction is a genre that has some big ideas that people cannot always deliver. Whilst drama can be played out on a small and intimate level, sci fi is often full of futuristic imagery that needs to be seen on screen. When the budget is not quite high enough, the cast not quite good enough, and the director not quite competent enough; you get a film like `Surrogates'.

Bruce Willis plays FBI Agent Tom Greer who is investigating a bizarre death. It is the near future and many people live their lives through surrogate androids that are often better looking versions of themselves. Whilst their android selves walk the streets, the humans lie back in bed, safe and sound. However, someone has created a weapon that will not only destroy a surrogate, but send a pulse back to the owner and kill them. This could bring down modern society as Tom knows it.

One of the major issues with `Surrogates' is that the basis for the film is deeply flawed. How can so many people afford to have a surrogate? They don't look like they come cheap. With this in mind, the film feels completely undermined - wouldn't the `rebels' in fact be a vocal majority? Interesting explorations of people using their virtual selves because they are ashamed of the real them is lost in a flawed premise and hackneyed plot. As always Willis is able to hold his own despite the rest of the film; not so for other cast members. Once Ving Rhames pops up on your casting list you better be aware that the film has just moved into straight to DVD territory; Rhames does not disappoint and he is easily the worst thing about this film.

The problems increase with the ropey special effects and director Jonathan Mostow's inability to make do with less. Someone like Doug Jones would have simplified the story to handle the budget, not fill the film with half hearted chase sequences and dodgy CGI. `Surrogates' is a mediocre science fiction film that is undermined further by having the budget of a TV movie. Sacrifices in big name cast members or ambitious story ideas should have been made to make the plot tighter and the film look better. As it is, this is one futuristic thriller to avoid.
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