Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Surrogates

Released

Latest Home Video

Jan 26, 2010

MPAA Rating:

PG-13


Run Time:

104

Cast

Bruce Willis

Radha Mitchell

Rosamund Pike

James Francis Ginty

Boris Kodjoe

Ving Rhames

Studio

2009 Touchstone Pictures

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Surrogates.

Read Review

Reviewed by

OverallC+
ViolenceC-
SexB
LanguageC-
Drugs/AlcoholC
Run Time104

Making the Grades

There is nothing subtle about Surrogates, a futuristic sci-fi movie based on the graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele. The warning in this script is that living a virtual life devoid of any human contact, even with those who share your house, is not everything its made up to be.

Yet since the creation and refinement of robotic human surrogates in this ultramodern world, no one wants to be on the streets. Instead, from the safety of their homes, the operators, who come in a realistic array of body shapes, ages and physical appearances, lie around all day in their stem chairs. Plugged into their beautiful, young, personally designed robots, they live a vicarious existence as the avatars go out in the world and interact with everyone else’s substitute self.

The few humans who have refused to buy into the virtual life live in a fenced off compound where they eke out an existence with crude, primitive tools. Meanwhile the surrogates engage in every kind of human activity from office work to sexual encounters without the operator being subjected to pain, danger, discrimination or sexually transmitted diseases.

But the safety factor of this lifestyle changes when two police officers, Greer (Bruce Willis) and Peters (Radha Mitchell), trace the identification numbers of two destroyed surrogates back to their operators. The officers find the humans dead in their chairs and oozing blood from their mouth, eyes and nose. They’ve been murdered by a weapon capable of killing victims who are online. The agents continue to carry out their investigation in an undercover manner to avoid widespread panic among the public. Then Greer’s surrogate is ambushed, crushed by a car and hung on a makeshift cross by the humans as a symbol of everything that is wrong with the robotic beings.

The self-imposed isolation of these characters makes them not only afraid of real life dangers, but also fearful of human interactions and emotion. Having to experience the world for himself for the first time in years is terrifying, even for the hardened cop. Yet Greer is driven to locate the specialized weapon that is killing both surrogates and humans and disarm it before more operators die.

This Matrix-like plot uses elements of that blockbuster trilogy but fails to achieve the same intensity or unexpected twists. Rather it unfolds in a predictable, by the numbers formula. (I guess there is safety in that too.) Graphic depictions of blood-splattered operators, a suicide and people who are crushed or hit by speeding cars are combined with the depictions of inoperative surrogates.

With the proliferation of social networks and the increasing popularity of virtual video games like Second Life, living vicariously online is more of an option than ever. Unfortunately the comparison between the "perfect" surrogates and their less-than-perfect humans makes choosing the real world an unappealing alternative.

Hear
Review

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Surrogates.

What advantages does a virtual world like Second Life or these surrogates provide for people who are handicapped? What are the dangers of becoming overly involved in such a world? Do you agree with the human prophet in this movie who says we are not meant to experience the world through a machine? You may be interested in reading this article by Rod Gustafson for the Parents Television Council on “Massively Multiplayer Online Games” like Second Life.

Why does Greer’s wife prefer to interact with her husband only as a surrogate? How does isolating oneself from others impact a person’s emotional and social health?

If you created your own avatar (or if you already have), how does it compare with the real you? What are the costs of living a risk-free life? You may be interested in reading this article by Rod Gustafson for the Parents Television Council on “Massively Multiplayer Online Games” like Second Life.

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
PG Violence.
AB 14A Violence.
MB 14A Not Recommended For Children.
ON PG Violence, Not Recommended for Young Children
QC G Not Recommended for Young Children.
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: 14A

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Surrogates...

Release Date: 26 January 2010

Surrogates releases on DVD<\b> in widescreen, with audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, Spanish and French). Subtitles are provided in English, Spanish and French. Bonus materials include:

- Commentary with director Jonathan Mostow

- Music Video: I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin

Surrogates releases on Blu-ray in widescreen with audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English, Spanish and French) and DTS HD Master Audio (English, Spanish and French). Subtitles are provided in English, Spanish and French. Extras consist of:

- Commentary with director Jonathan Mostow

- Music Video: I Will Not Bow by Breaking Benjamin

-Featurettes: A More Perfect You: The Science of Surrogates and Breaking the Frame: A Graphic Novel Comes to Life.

- Four Deleted Scenes

Add Your Comments

Commenting is restricted to members only.
Please log in below or, if you're not yet a member, please register.



Forgot password? | register

Please note: So we can maintain a website with content appropriate for all ages, we moderate all comments and will edit profanities, slanderous remarks and other inappropriate language. For these reasons, your comments will not appear immediately.

There are currently no comments on this review. Be sure to add yours with the form below.

You May Be Interested...

Watch Newest Videos