Title: “Surrogates”

Run Time: 89 mins

Genre:  Action/Sci-Fi/Thriller

Cast: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, Borris Kodjoe, James Cromwell, James Francis Ginty, Ving Rhames, Jack Noseworthy

Director: Johnathan Mostow (Terminator 3 “Rise Of the Machines”)

Plot: What does it mean to be human? Is it the fact that we can feel emotion? Is it the fact that we have the capability to be in touch with the soul that God provided for us in order to experience love? Or is it “free will” that defines us as an intelligent species? However one defines exactly “what makes us human” one thing holds to be true…”we are not meant to experience the world through a machine.”

Jump ahead to a time when our world has become subservient to the new master known as technology. No longer do humans live their lives the way God meant for it to be, instead, they are living a lie! The vast majority of humans now have chosen to bow down and live their lives in a virtual reality through an artificial intelligence known as surrogates. The primary function of the surrogate is to live out a sort of fantasy-like perfect reality for it’s owner, eliminating any dangers, any dis-ease, any consequence, and especially any imperfections that individual may have. As a result, the surrogate is now the only link that its human has to the outside world. When the euphoric side effects of this technology is disrupted by an unknown man armed with a weapon of destruction, who commits the first murders this city has experienced in years, FBI agents Tom Greer (Bruce Willis) and Peters (Radha Mitchell) are called upon to close this case without hesitation. Through his investigation, Greer comes face to face with a conspiracy that could have an everlasting fatal impact on the human race as we know it. In order to unravel it, Greer must first confront the revolutionary icon and self-proclaimed  leader of the humans known as “The Prophet” (Ving Rhames)  who is suspected of having control of this highly classified destructive weapon. After confronting him, Greer quickly realizes that there is a much more deeper and darker secret that is connected with the original inventor of the surrogates named Dr. Canter (James Cromwell). In a race against time, Greer must now separate from his surrogate, put his life in harms way and do everything humanly possible in order to stop this conspiracy from truly happening. The fate of the humans and surrogates depend on it!

This movie is what I call a work of genius. And for a movie to reach the heights of this type of compliment you need an excellent director backed up by a phenomenal screenplay.  This movie has both! Michael Ferris and John D. Brancato put together a screenplay that forces you to think outside the box in order for you to figure out the whole logistics of the movie. There are only a handful of writers who can successfully do this, at the same time producing an interesting and action filled plot that makes perfectly good sense. What I mean by this, is instead of just looking at this movie as a typical futuristic world controlled by technology, the type of writing causes a person to think of it as may be a movie about humans losing their connection with God. Although, not quite on the level as the Wachowski brothers (“The Matrix” trilogy), Ferris and Brancato definitely deserve their props for their brilliant writing. To compliment this, director Johnathan Mostow takes this screenplay to a whole new level. He makes this possible by providing astonishing camera work and angles, as well as packing in some of the most exciting action scenes I’ve ever seen on film. Take for instance the scene where Bruce Willis’ character is chasing Peters throughout the city. While I was watching it, I felt as though I were inside one of those old dome cinemax theaters at the state fair that made you feel like you were part of the action. I even caught myself almost jumping out of my seat as Peters jumped from car to car.

Not to be out done by the directing and the screenplay, Bruce Willis, again, delivers us with a high powered commanding performance. I think when it comes to Bruce Willis, his fans and critics do not expect anything less. Now most actors would cave in to such pressure put on him by these outside forces, but not Bruce Willis. He just continues to put out movie after movie of superb onscreen performances. And unlike other so-called action heroes, Bruce Willis can actually act on a level that could be considered award worthy, as is his performance is here in “Surrogates”. Willis’ complex character Greer has to be able to show the extreme toughness and callousness of a surrogate, as seen when he is trying to apprehend the mysterious murderer in the human sector, as well as show his human emotional side, as seen when he is telling his wife that he loves her. Bruce Willis pulls this off in a fashion that only Bruce Willis could and that’s with extreme poise and excellence. This movie is light years apart from the movie “Die Hard” but I think we can all agree that Bruce Willis doesn’t get older…he only gets better.

The Obvious: This is a futuristic movie about how technology has stripped away the ability of humans to express to everyone exactly what it means to be human.

The Not So Obvious: The beauty of this movie is the way it causes you to “think outside of the box”. (Kind of reminds me of “The Matrix” for that matter) You can’t view this movie in an ordinary way and expect to fully understand it. A good example of this is during the scene when all the surrogates suddenly fall lifeless. What is this scene truly mimicking that we can relate to in our lives? Just really what is it that the director is really trying to say to us? Well that’s not for me to tell you. It’s up to you to make the conscious decision to “think outside the box” in order to come up with those answers. The beauty of it is, is that none of our answers are probably wrong.

The Final Cut: “Surrogates” is a masterpiece of writing and directing that bond together with the timeless performance given by Bruce Willis, in such a way, that will have your heart pumping and your mind racing a 100% of the way through. The toughness and hard core character role, played by Bruce Willis, brings you back to his glory days of “Die Hard” except for the fact that Willis is 10 times harder and 10 times better than before. This is a movie for the whole family to enjoy. I guarantee that this movie will have something to offer for all walks of life.

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