What if a person could live a life through someone else with no crime or pain, and have a perfect body while doing so? Such is the premise of "Surrogates," starring Bruce Willis ("Die Hard").
The film opens with a montage of how corporation Virtual Self Industries, or V.S.I. as it’s referred to, came about and the invention of surrogates. The scene shifts to the present day, taking place in 2017, and introduces viewers to Willis, who is a detective investigating the murder of a college student. The case quickly becomes a huge investigation because the victim is actually the son of the inventor of surrogates.
Willis’s performance stands out because he is one of the few actual humans seen in the movie; almost everyone else is a robot. Everyone, that is, except the "dreads," a minority group of humans who oppose the use of surrogates and live on reservations outside of society. They are lead by "The Prophet," played by Ving Rhames ("Pulp Fiction"). Willis and Rhames have an interesting standoff, similar to their joint work in "Pulp Fiction," about a weapon that can kill surrogates and their users. Other actors in the movie are tolerable and don’t provide any stellar moments.
The visual effects in the movie are interesting, especially when the robots’ human faces are peeled off to reveal the metal underneath. Another example is the effect that the weapon has on surrogates; they are done in a way that makes it seem somewhat possible. Everything else is seen in most other action movies, such as CGI car crashes, explosions, and super-human movement.
Surprisingly, "Surrogates" is based on a 2005-2006 comic series of the same name. The film follows the basic plot of the comic while tweaking it slightly. "Surrogates" is directed by Jonathan Mostow, who previously directed "Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines," and was distributed by Touchstone Pictures. Mostow’s style is standard action movie fare with some high intensity chase scenes, futuristic technology, and predictable plot twists. Overall, nothing really blows you away, but if viewers go into this not expecting much, then it might be fun.