In the near future, technology has advanced to the point where synthetic humanoid robots can be built. These robots can be operated remotely by their owners and can be customized to appear as desired. At first, it started out as a fad, but quickly grew into a major cultural revolution. As time went on, more and more people began to use their robots, called surrogates, to handle their daily affairs. The more surrogacy grew, the less people ventured outside and eventually the Supreme Court granted surrogacy legal status as a substitute for all aspects of daily life. This however has not stopped a minority population of people from rejecting surrogacy as unnatural, and several enclaves of these "meatbags" sprang up in every major city.

If the above sounds intriguing, it should, because it lays the foundation for a very engrossing film. After the introduction lays things out over a course of 14 years since the development of the first surrogates, we learn that someone is capable of destroying surrogates and killing their operators in the process. The movie focuses on FBI agents Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) and "Peters" (Radha Mitchell, don't recall her character's first name being mentioned) as they investigate the cause of these attacks. What follows is a very engaging story line that has plenty of plot twists and surprise jumps right up until the end.

At the same time, the movie also tackles some of the moral issues involved in operating as a surrogate, and much of it is likely applicable to today's internet culture of anonymity. In fact, since surrogates are all operated by computer remote, the analogy fits in very well. You are given a rather harsh glimpse into the vanity of many of the people in the city and of course, some who turn out to be entirely different from what they portray themselves as. Surrogates are also capable of incredible physical feats and provide immunity to doing things which are normally unsafe and potentially fatal. It effectively sends the message that allowing things to continue the way they are will lead to a complete loss of inhibition and accountability since you can simply replace or repair a damaged unit, much like people on the internet today can simply replace their online identity at will.

While this is definitely a science fiction movie, it does not do anything that would be considered outlandish or impossible, and it's entirely likely that technology that would allow this has already been developed. This helps to maintain the believability factor and doesn't jolt the audience with crazy futuristic sets or unrealistic props. In fact, you can more or less imagine today's world with a few upgrades.

Over all, if you're looking for a good sci-fi flick, or just a good adventure story, you probably won't go wrong with Surrogates. And you can even bring the kids to this one as there is very little that should be considered a problem. Some crude language, a bit of violence here and there, but nothing major. Just go see it!

On the Horizon

November: 2012 - Might be on the iffy side, posters in the theater weren't very reassuring. Looks like just another end of thw world movie. I suspect Knowing was far better than this looks to be.

December: Avatar - This is the one that's been getting all the buzz and what little I see on it so far looks interesting enough.

And sadly that looks like it for the forseeable future. An awful lot of apocalypse rehash movies in the pipeline :(
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Sep 27, 2009 9:18 pm by Samson in: | 9 comment(s) [Closed]
Surrogates: Hmm, sounds a bit like somewhere between Asimov and Blade Runner, and intriguing is definitely the right word. I may just have to go see this one.

2012: The premise has potential, but I suspect you've called it correctly in this case. The little I've seen/heard about this movie does not begin to entice me to spend money at the theater at all.

Avatar: This has been getting all the buzz? I must be watching the wrong channels lately. I've been seeing a bunch of ads for 9 but none yet for this one that I can recall at all. On the other hand, the ads I have been seeing have got me somewhat interested in 9...

I keep seeing this post and wanting to watch Gattaca.

On a wildly other note, the Stargate: Universe pilot was surprisingly interesting, considering I'd never actually seen anything else Stargate ever. Makes me want to go watch the old stuff. Thanks, Hulu.

The Stargate franchise has done a pretty good job overall, maybe you should go check out the previous two series. (Stargate: SG1 & Stargate: Atlantis)

Indeed, thanks to Hulu I'm now watching old SG1 eps, which are quite good.

Only thing is, they've alerted me to a distressing problem. My plans for interstellar conquest don't involve nearly enough guys in crazy snake armor with laser staffs. This is quite clearly a problem that I shall have to solve immediately.

But are you going to have to travel to the Jafa homeworld to recruit them?

That IS a technical difficulty that I'm going to have to work on, to be sure.

Have you already started your expedition to locate a functional stargate and a couple of ZPMs to power it so you can get there?

Watching more eps. Research, you understand. Wouldn't want to walk through a gate and get into something TOO crazy.

(like giant alien bugs or weird spheres that glow blue and shoot spikes, for a couple of recent examples)

Just wait until you watch the episode where O'Neil gets cloned or the episodes where he gets the entire Ancient knowledge repository dumped into his brain or the episodes involving time travel or the episodes involving the replicators or... well, there are a few more oddities they run into that you'll have to take into consideration as well. ;)

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