Surrogates Short Review (2.5 of 5 with Mild spoilers)

Surrogates-1928

I didn’t go see Surrogates because I HAD TO SEE IT. I hadn’t seen a movie since Inglourious Basterds, so it was time and this was one of the movies playing. This just hasn’t been an exciting year for movies for me. Hopefully ‘Where The Wild Things ARe’ in a couple of weeks will be the mark of a turnaround. Back to Surrogates…

No comment.

From the com---erh... Graphic Novel. No comment. No comment on the art, either.

Based on a comic book or as they like to say now… the Groff-ick Nawhhhhh-ville… Elitist bastards. If it has cartoons and word balloons, I got news for ya’. It’s still a comic book. Anyway…It’s directed by the guy (Jonathan Mostow) that directed Terminator 3… One of the crappy  non-Cameron Terminator movies.

I only post his picture because Radha's standing next to him.

Radha with Mostow.

He also directed a very non-historical historical movoe U-571.I love stuff about World War II and that one didn’t endear him to me. It wasn’t completely awful, but completely forgettable along with being inaccurate. He DID direct a pretty good movie called Breakout many years ago starring Kurt Russell, Kathleen Quinlan and the late J.T. Walsh, so I had hopes for this one.

John McClane! Where's Hans Gruber?!

John McClane! Where's Hans Gruber?!

This movie was not good or bad; it just is. I did like the actors in it. Bruce Willis can make just about anything he’s in better. He’s one of those actors that sometimes doesn’t do a whole lot, but is always believable.  It was cool to see him in a movie with Ving Rhames again (is this their first together since Pulp Fiction?)…

Lovely and talented...

Lovely and talented...

Also in the movie was Radha Mitchell who is always lovely and talented. She’s had a spotty career filled with hits and misses, but like Willis is always believable. She’s been in several movies that I would compare in quality to this one such as Pitch Black or Silent Hill. Both were terribly flawed, but enjoyable enough time wasters. I also have to note that I think it was funny that they had to use a lot of makeup to make her look UN-attractive in this one. I would have liked to have seen more of that version in this movie. They only showed her as the non-surrogate for like 4 seconds.

From Pitch Black.

From Pitch Black.

Surrogates is a intended to be an entry into science fiction, but ends up being a little too light on ideas and on suspense. I’ve seen everything in this in some form in other better sci-fi movies. Strange Days came to mind more than once along with several other Virtual Reality movies. The premise is that most of the population have become shut ins and go out into society in the form of a Surrogate (a humanoid robot that the person lives through from the safety of their homes).

This Surrogate NEVER appears in the movie....

This chick NEVER appears in the movie....

I knew before I went to see this that they would be making the point that people should go and live their lives instead of living through video games and their televisions (or something to that effect), but I don’t think they really thought about the repercussions and anything other than the point that they were trying to make. They state that crime and accidental deaths have become almost nonexistent. Apparently they have more faith in humanity than I do (and I have a lot). Criminals would have a field day with these things. I don’t think I need to spell that out.

This chick wasn't even in the movie! False advertising, I say!

Not one appearance....

     The whole undertaking was fairly domestic; everything from the acting, to the writing, to the special effects.  It also would have benefitted from a larger budget and/or a bit more imaginative director. This is definitely an instance where the movie NEEDED more FX.

Half of the budget went to that awful rug on Willis' head...

Half of the budget went to that awful rug on Willis' head...

What was shown onscreen was a slight upgrade from the fem-bot effects of the old Bionic Man and Woman shows. Peeling the ‘face’ from a robot dummy. Bruce wearing something on his shoulder to make it look like he lost an arm. Very low budget/old movie type of effects.

Some of the hi-tch FX....Snore....

Some of the hi-tch FX....Snore....

     The ‘big twists’ were predictable. I knew who the antagonist was long before his first appearance. I think they did a cheat also. All of the Surrogates were emphasized with extra makeup  (especially Bruce) to look a little more doll-like and plastic (Radha just looked like Radha).

Radha looking like Radha... Unfortunately this was not in this film.

Radha looking like Radha... Unfortunately this was not in this film.

They were kind of spotty and inconsistent with this. (Here comes a very large spoiler… SPOILER ALERT) The red herring in the movie (who I KNEW was a red herring from the beginning) was the Ving Rhames character.

Underutilized actor. Didn't do much in this one....

Underutilized actor. Ving didn't do much in this one....

     The normal people in the movie all seemed unshaven, unkempt and without makeup. Turns out he was a Surogate but he didn’t have that ‘perfect’ look like all the others because they didn’t want you to know that in the movie. Bruce was recognized as a Surrogate by a large number of people, but these same people couldn’t recognize their religious leader as one when they’re following this guy around every day? And the Surrogates did need to power up every so often. It just didn’t add up. The antagonist who was controlling him throughout, would have had to spend an inordinate amount of time making people believe he was the real thing. Anyway…

From Melinda & Melinda I believe. Could be wrong, though.

From Melinda & Melinda I believe. Could be wrong, though.... What? oh, yeah. Surrogates.

It wasn’t a bad movie, it just seemed like everyone was just doing this until their next ‘better’ job came along.

Radha contemplating her next movie...

Radha contemplating her next movie...

Take a paycheck, do an adequate pro job and move along. It’ll probably be one of Bruce’s more forgettable movies IMO. Maybe I should have sent someone in my place to see this movie. Where are the real Surrogates when you need them? I wouldn’t have missed anything, really.

One more of Radha before we go.

One more of Radha before we go.

 All in all I give it  2.5 out of  5 whatevers (and I think I just came up with a rating system). I don’t know if I see anything before ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ on the 16th. It’s just a down period for good movies I guess. Well, that’s it. Until next time. Same Crash! time. Same Crash! Channel….

STILL not in the movie! False advertising, I say!

STILL not in the movie! False advertising, I say!

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