A futuristic tale of humanity living out their lives through robotic replacements. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately a slightly entertaining mediocre movie.

In the future, humans live in isolation, working and living through their “surrogates”, mechanical avatars that do all the heavy lifting while their operators stay at home in a virtual joystick-chair thing. The movie revolves around an FBI agent (played by Bruce Willis) investigating the death of two operators via the electrical death of their surrogate. Since this isn’t suppose to be possible, stakes rise, then action and thrills are supposed to ensue.

The problem with the story was that it felt a bit to truncated. Since the movie is only an hour and twenty-eight minutes, it doesn’t seem like the filmmakers had enough time to care about the characters. Essentially the story can be considered I ROBOT meets MINORITY REPORT, thus making it a bit predictable. Not to mention a bit preachy and more than a little melodramatic at times.

The visual effects and special effects make-up are something that director Jonathan Mostow is no stranger to. Similar to one of his prior films, TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES, the robot surrogates looked a bit like living wax sculptures of their operators, but without all the skin flaws every surrogate operator seemed to have. The visual effects were all done well enough not to be a distraction. However, visual effects alone do not make a movie.

Overall the movie wasn’t bad. Directing was good. Acting was good. Music and sound mixing were good, but it was a tale too short to be told properly. I’m hoping that some sort of Director’s or Uncut editions might come out when it’s released to DVD, but it’s not really the big action / thriller they market the movie to be. I’ll recommend Surrogates, but save it for a weekend matinee.

Todd Lipska

Todd's geekiness started off early with his family's first computer: a TRS-80. As a contributing writer, head photographer, lead programmer and one of the founders of Media Geeks, well, suffice it to say, he's a busy guy.

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