Hannah Scribbles

A Quick Review of “Surrogates”

In Movies/TV, Pop Culture! on April 5, 2011 at 11:38 pm

Jonathan Mostow directs “Surrogates,” a 2009 science fiction movie starring Bruce Willis as Tom Greer, an FBI agent working a dangerous case while struggling to reconnect with his wife after the loss of their son.

The opening credits work quickly to fill in the back story with news montage of the evolution of surrogacy, a technology developed to allow operators to interact with the world via surrogate bodies.  Ninety eight percent of the world population now uses surrogates as their primary mode of interaction, and the rest are violently opposed to the technology.

Greer and his partner, Jennifer Peters (played by Radha Mitchell), arrive at the scene of a crime, which becomes complicated when one of the victims is the son of Lionel Canter, the inventor of surrogacy.  While  investigating the murder – the first one recorded in years, Greer stumbles into a conspiracy to wipe out all surrogates on the planet.

One might think this sci-fi crime flick is an open and shut case, but the ride is only beginning.

Without giving it undo attention, Mostow plays Greer’s personal struggle to remain attached to his wife Maggie (played by Rosamund Pike), despite a growing resentment of her surrogate body, against his obligation to protect the system.  His moral struggle adds the heart to the film, giving a much-needed emotional touch to what would otherwise be a detached action movie.

This is my favorite part of science fiction movies:  the message.  Not only does “Surrogates” raise valid ethical questions about the uses of upcoming technologies, but it also draws attention to the paradoxical power of technology to isolate us from the outside world and ourselves.  “Surrogates” asks the viewer an increasingly relevant question:  whether living life through computer interface is the same as stepping outside to see the city in person.

Well, is it?
  1. I also enjoyed Surrogates and was pleasantly surprised by its deeper message. Bruce Willis was perfect for this role.

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