ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

"Surrogates" on DVD Leaves Lackluster Impressions

Updated on March 14, 2010

Watch the trailer in HD

Watch relalted titles

I Wish I Could Care

Surrogates, the 2009 sci-fi film starring Bruce Willis, recently became available on DVD. Surrogates is set in a not-too-distant future America in which the majority of the population lives through personal robots called surrogates. A surrogate’s owner controls their robot remotely, and the surrogates can be design to look however the buyer wishes. Originally created in the hopes of creating a safer America, surrogate technology results in an image-driven, self-serving, and emotionally isolated culture.

Surrogate technology allows people to essentially do whatever they want through their robotic alter egos in perfect safety. A small number of people staunchly hold out on reservations where surrogacy is banned, but for the most part all feel satisfied with the new mode of living. No matter what may happen to a surrogate, its human user cannot be harmed.

Until now. An attack on two surrogates results in the simultaneous death of their owners, an unprecedented event. FBI agents Greer (Willis) and Peters (Radha Mitchell) investigate the case and soon find themselves delving into questions of ethics, quality of life, and humanity. Surrogates get illegally hijacked, and no one is who they appear to be.

I wanted to like this film. I appreciated the message that director Jonathan Mostow and his creative teamed were attempting to convey. Unfortunately, the moral got lost in muddle storytelling. At the end of the film I could string together which characters were doing what and their motivations -- but barely.

Surrogates is not a complete loss, however. Bruce Willis is brilliant in his role as Greer, who must abandon his surrogate and venture out into the world as his aged, imperfect self for the first time in decades. I rented Surrogates expecting to see typical Bruce Willis shoot-’em-up fare, but instead I discovered a sensitive man grappling with his own humanity, mortality, and an increasingly distant wife (also beautifully played, with actress Rosamund Pike filling the role), not to mention a superficial and emotionally void culture. Also, the make-up artists did wonderful work in allow the same actors to portray their human characters and corresponding surrogates to great effect.

Sadly, however, the lovely acting delivered by Willis and Pike is obscured by confusing plot twists and poor writing. Also, Ving Rhames as the anti-surrogate human anarchist, The Prophet, seemed an awkward fit, while James Cromwell in the role of conflicted surrogate technology inventor Canter is very reminiscent of his appearance in I, Robot. There are glimmering elements of solid film-making in Surrogates, but in the end it was not enough to make me care about the characters or the should-have-been provocative questions at the movie’s core.

Talk Back

Did you see Surrogates? What did you think? If you didn't see it, will you?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)