Director: Jonathan Mostow
Ving Rhames/The Prophet
Society has become sadder than it is now. Most folks on the planet live in let clones (i.e. surrogates) of themselves do the walking while they do the talking from the comfort of their own home. But when “somebody” has figured out a way to kill surrogates and their human puppet masters via some nifty ray gun, cop Greer (Willis) has to get the f*ck out of the house and go solve the crime.
I had never heard of Robert Venditti’s 2005-2006 comic book series that that inspired this flick; so I strolled on in this screening colder than my ex-girlfriend’s potatoe stump of a heart. All I knew beforehand was that the trailer was cool and that man's man (and I love him for it) Bruce Willis chilling in a society filled with clones usually means good times in my world. So did this one bring it?
SURROGATES didn’t f*ck around. By the time the opening credits were done, it had already set me up for its gay old time. The action started right off the bat and the flick (which ran at meek 88 minutes) rarely stopped for a pee break yet alone for air or a healthy session of muff diving. I totally dug the concept of this one and could relate to its themes: isolation due to technology, fake human contact (them through surrogates, me via the web) and the cons that come with this type of lifestyle (so many to list). If I may deviate for a second…just a second: being that I work online, my life is 75% spent on the computer. This year I took a week off, away from technology to just “be and straight up, it was the happiest week of my year. All that to bark, Surrogates addressed that box which technology has put us in, hence acting as a potent enough cautionary tale. I’m done, wasn’t that bad was it?
Behind the lens, Mostow (who showed off his heatly sci fi chops via T3) was on the ball and well backed by tighter than tight editing. I got off on this one’s fly shots, relentless rhythm and polished look. The special effects (loved that creepy clone look) and production designs came through as well (nice to see that Greer’s clone is basically Bruce Willis in The Jackal – NICE!) The depiction of the future here was put out in a way that said “yes this is the future” and no “it’s not that far off from our reality”. That approach maximized the impact of the happenings. Add to all that swell shite a heartfelt relationship between Greer and his wife (played by the gorgeous Rosamund Pike who did a fine job with the role at that) which hit me right here (points at heart), a couple of groovy (yet to short) action sequences that hit the spot and competent acting by all (ya can't miss with Radha Mitchell and Ving Rhames in the house), with Willis putting out a wounded and affecting performance that made sure to keep me on his side and you get a pleasant and quick fix times at the movies.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the flick’s mystery did much for me. Just by looking at the cast list I was able to figure out who was behind the shenanigans. Same when for the WHY behind it all. A little too simpleton for my tastes; I would’ve liked something more challenging. Moreover, it’s a shame that the film didn’t capitalize further on its premise in terms of how this new kind of lifestyle would affect every aspect of existence (like sexuality for example) but alas this one had a very narrow purpose: set up, mystery, let Bruce out of his cage. And what was up with the action scenes ending so quickly? I’d get hooked but before I could get fully riled up, they’d be over with. Stretch that shit out! Finally, this is the kind of film you can’t think too much about otherwise plot holes will surface to back-hand you like Chris Brown on a Rihanna slap fest (only bitches hit chicks – you hear that Chris Brown – cunt!) Thankfully the movie forged forward so hastily that I didn’t have to think – I only had to sit back and enjoy the ride.
Personally, I can see SURROGATES go down much better on DVD with a brewskie and a hand in your Jeans than on the big screen – so I suggest you wait it out till then – either way – it’s an all right time – that will murder 88 minutes of your life adequately. Clone this! Zip!
We get some exploding clone eyes, a ripped off clone arm, a stab behind the head, bullet wounds and a pinch more. Not a gorefest but for the kind of film it is, it did good.
T & A
was surprised at the lack of sex in this film. Taking into account the concept you would think it would explore that avenue and then some. NO DICE! So nothing to report here other than the fact that Rosamund Pike is absolutely gorgeous.
SURROGATES had a money initial premise, effective visuals effects, Bruce Willis on top of his game, a coupe of nifty ideas and (way to short) eye popping action scenes. It also got me thinking, which is rare being that I have only one brain cell left in my noggin – and its named Kill). Granted the flick could’ve been so much more than what it was and its mystery/motive were weaker than me in bed after a bottle of JD and 3 Tic-Tacs, but when it was all over, I could look at myself in the mirror, take a deep breath and say: I had a good time. Will you? The f*ck I know – tap it and find out for yourselves!
The end credit song is called I WILL NOT BOW by BREAKING BENJAMIN. Good song!
The flick was shot in Massachusetts, USA.
There's prequel graphic novel that came out this year called: The Surrogates: Flesh and Bone.
This one's screenwriters Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato also wrote TERMINATOR SALVATION (2009).
CLONE THE SURROGATES OFFICIAL SITE HERE