Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Movie Review: Surrogates

Surrogates is the story of a society, at an unspecified time, that lives vicariously through their humanoid surrogates.  Strapped to chairs in their dark bedrooms, the human lives and experiences what their surrogate experiences, only without the consequences.  There is no murder or STDs.  Of course, there are those that believe surrogate life is an abomination.  These people are called Dreads.  Dreads live in colonies scattered around the country where no surrogates are allowed.  Bruce Willis play FBI agent Tom Greer who investigates the murder of a man who died has his surrogates brain was fried with some sort of mysterious weapon.  The link between surrogate and human is supposed to prevent any harm from happening to the surrogate, so this death is especially disturbing. Tom, who himself is a surrogate, begins the investigation in a conspiratorial murder mystery that unravels to find that the creator of surrogate, James Cromwell, has set out to end surrogacy.  As a surrogate, he has been leading the Dreads revolt against surrogacy, unbeknownst to the human population.   Cromwell was fired from the company he started.  This company,VSI, had developed the weapon that could kill both human and surrogate.    VSI wants to kill Cromwell and believe they do so in the beginning of the movie.  However, they instead kill Cromwell's son who was borrowing his father's surrogate.  Cromwell then captures the weapon and after killing Greer's partner, steals her surrogate to enter the FBI headquarters to use the weapon to terminate all surrogates.  Greer is forced to take a leave, but choose to pursue the case anyway.  Because his surrogate is destroyed in a chase, Greer must now function as a human.  He has to deal with the anxiety of knowing that he could actually come to harm.  However, he finds that he has missed his real life.  He tries to convince his wife to do the same, but his wife, consumed with pain killers and anti-depressants, chooses surrogacy because their son had died and the pain is too much.  Anyway, the movie's climax comes as Greer's hijacked partner is activating a program that will kill on surrogates.  Greer kills Cromwell and then assumes control of his partner's surrogate.  With the help of the operator that is tied up, Greer is able to put up a barrier that will protect the human from their surrogates fate.  The controller tells him how to stop the surrogates from being destroyed, but Greer chooses to allow the Surrogates to perish.  The end of the movies shows people raggedy people emerging from their homes as they have become disconnected from their surrogate.  Greer and his wife unite in the flesh.  I enjoyed this movie from an entertainment perspective and a sci-fi fan.  I do like how they portrayed such a life-style.   One of the real interesting scenes is when Greer goes to visit the military.  He is in this room filled with countless consoles of men operating military surrogates.  As one of the soldiers dies,  he takes of his head set and says "i'm out".  He is then loaded into a new surrogate that arrives at the battlefield and he resumes combat.  The commanding officer paces the room making notes.  This officer then leaves the room to drive in a golf cart down to a different part.  He tells another man to keep an eye on bravo company.  Greer and the office discuss the weapon while the officer drives.  The conversation ends when the officer says "now you'll have to excuse me, we have a peace keeping mission".  There are problems with the movie, but I do suggest watching it if you like sci-fi.

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