Let’s get one thing clear to begin with: Bruce Willis is Awesome with a capital A and Die Hard is the best action movie of all time without question. That isn’t based on anything other than personal opinion, and I know many will disagree, but that’s ok too. It’s free will and free speech in action. The main reason I’m making this clear is to outline just how excited I was about Surrogates, a new sci-fi action film starring Brucey.
The plot is set in the present day but in a world in which everyone lives out their lives through a robot surrogate. Surrogates are perfect in every way and using them allows their human operators to stay safe at home whilst the robots brave the dangers of the real world. Quickly this illusion of invulnerability is shattered when two robot surrogates are attacked with an experimental weapon and their remote organic operators die. One of the dead turns out to be the son of the inventor of Surrogates and Bruce Willis’s FBI agent Tom Greer must take up the trail and find out if the ideals of surrogacy are all they’ve cracked up to be. In case you are wondering, they aren’t.
Though apparently 98% of the world’s population use surrogates there are machine-free districts populated by rebellious humans. For some reason they don’t trust surrogates and are lead by The Prophet (Ving Rhames sporting a beard and some stupid dreadlocks) who preaches robo-hate (my word) and little else. Willis’ surrogate self is quickly destroyed when the investigation leads him into one of these zones and he is forced to take his fragile, balding body out to solve the crime and ultimately save the World.
What follows is, despite all of the director’s best efforts, a pretty dull ride that left me cold. There are elements borrowed from The Matrix, District 9, I, Robot and tons of sub-Asimov type sci-fi, and there are more badly handled twists than a Dan Brown novel. It also shares many similarities with the much more violent Gamer, which I reviewed last week. Sadly, despite borrowing from a raft of noble sources, Surrogates fails to impress. The result is an incoherent and dull action movie that doesn’t do justice to its premise. If anything I would recommend Gamer over Surrogates, though neither are particularly good action movies, let alone good films in their own right.