Surrogates – DVD Review

What do Surrogates, Avatar, and Disney/Pixar’s Wall-E all have in common? They all show the wonders and dangers that technology can bring to humankind. In Avatar, James Cameron shows us how humans can embody the minds and bodies of living beings and assimilate into their world, in Wall-E, the obese human rely on technology to do their work for them.

In Surrogates, the wave of the future is using humanoid robots to live your everyday life.

Role-playing games that utilize avatars have enabled gamers to live vicariously through other characters for quite some time. Whether it’s The SIMS or World of Warcraft, these games allow people to interact with others without human-to-human contact. In our ever-growing computer age, this seems to be the way things are heading.

It’s now easier to text or IM than it is to meet or call someone. People can chat online, date online, and have sex online, all from the convenience of their computer chair or couch, and most of the time under complete anonymity.

Is this new type of activity wrong? No. It’s a shift in tech culture that allows for more freedom. But at what cost? Does greater freedom through technology make us as humans more anti-social? Does it allow us to hide who we really are to the detriment of relationships? And how can we really now if the person we’re chatting with online isn’t a fictional character designed to engage us?

Enter Surrogates, a film that attempts to explore the pluses and minuses of a world in which technology has become primary in the lives of humans. So much so that the vast majority of people never leave their homes, choosing to have their surrogate (or ‘surrey’) live for them.

All is well until someone starts to kill surrogates and their users. Enter Bruce Willis who must track down who’s committing the murders, how it’s being done, and figure out how to stop the death toll from mounting.

I did wonder if Arnold Schwarzenegger would have been cast if he wasn’t doing the politics thing right now. He has played robots and clones before, seems right up his alley. But Willis is always a sure bet when it comes to kick-ass action, and he does a great job as always.

Surrogates is loaded with pretty cool special effects, good action sequences, and an interesting message about the power of technology over our lives (which was mentioned above). What I also found interesting was how short the actual movie is; only 80 minutes, minus credits. Could it have been longer?

Aside from audio commentary and a music video, the Surrogates DVD contains no featurettes or other special features. You’ll have to grab the Blu-ray for those.

If you like Bruce Willis movies, films about technology taking over, or flicks in the sci-fi genre, I recommend you check out Surrogates and let me know what you thought about it. It’s an interesting film that makes you think about the role technology plays in our lives today, and its potential role down the line.