Trailer Tuesday: Surrogates
I loves me a good, slightly futuristic sci-fi flick. I loves me a sci-fi flick more when its premise straddles the border between fantasy and reality, taking society-changing technological advances we're beginning to see today, and pushing the current situation to its evolutionary extreme.
Surrogates, the new action techno thriller starring Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Ving Rhames and Rosamund Pike, does just that - presenting a future in which people live essentially in isolation from one another, never leaving the safety and comfort of their homes. In 2017, life is experienced vicariously through the remote control of robotic bodies, young, fit and flawlessly good looking. These surrogate bodies allow their real life controllers to be who they want to be, and do what they want to do without fear, pain or consequence. A problem arises though when it apparently becomes possible to murder people by destroying their surrogates, and 2 FBI agents (Bruce Willis and Radha Mitchell), themselves surrogate users, are called in to investigate.
Based on a little known comic book miniseries, Surrogates is directed by Jonathan Mostow, one of those able workmen directors whose previous films include Breakdown, U-571 and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines - all of which are solid, polished action movies I thoroughly enjoyed.
Surrogates was released in the States just a few weeks ago, and unfortunately has been something of a financial flop. Critically it hasn't really impressed either, scoring a rating of just 39% on Rotten Tomatoes. General consensus seems to be that the concept behind the film is far stronger than its execution, with the filmmakers refusing to delve into a deeper exploration of the dark potential of surrogate use. Anyone remember Strange Days where a woman experiences her rape from the emotional perspective of the rapist? Now that was dark stuff!
Anyway, the makers of Surrogates are apparently happy to stick to slick, shiny visuals and a twisty mystery-solving plot we've seen multiple times before, especially in big budget, similarly flawed sci-fi (e.g. I, Robot, Minority Report). Still, though, I'm keen for Surrogates. It looks interesting at least, and given the poor selection at cinemas at the moment, anything that piques my interest deserves a viewing.
Surrogates opens in South Africa in exactly one month's time, on Friday, 13 November.