By By Michelle Hart , Staff Writer
If J.J Abrams' recent reboot of "Star Trek" and "District 9," mark a return to classic science fiction, than "Surrogates," the new film starring Bruce Willis, definitely continues that trend. The film's premise is rife with intrigue, leav¬ing ample room for philo¬sophical ideas and an exploration of the classic battle between man and machine. Unfortunately, the film does not deliver on the promises made by such a premise.
"Surrogates," based on the graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, and directed by Jonathon Mostow, depicts a very near future in which humans are living their lives remotely from the safety of their own homes via robotic sur¬rogates: sexy, physically perfect mechanical repre¬sentations of themselves. When the first murder since the integration of surrogates occurs, FBI Agent Greer (Bruce Willis with hair) begins to unrav¬el a vast conspiracy, aban¬doning his own surrogate in the process.
Like the far superior "I Robot" and "The Matrix," "Surrogates" plays on the fear of our seemingly inevitable over-reliance on technology. In the world of "Surrogates," humans use their robotic selves as proxies between them¬selves and the real world. Anyone familiar with the game "Second Life" will attest to the realness of this threat. If there is one thing the Internet is slowly accomplish¬ing, it is the rendering of interpersonal relations impersonal.
However, the film is all concept and no execution. For one thing, there are many gaping plot holes; it is never fully explained why so many people would choose to willingly abandon their lives for a hermetic life of obsoles¬cence, save for a pocket of humans led by a man only known as the Prophet. The Prophet has a secret though, and that secret makes even less sense.
Also, the plot unfolds in an extremely formu¬laic and predictable way, making it simple to figure out the story's twists and turns way before they even happen on screen. What could have been such an ambitious sci-fi thriller never really comes to life, hindered by a by-the-numbers plot that fails to resonate emotionally.