Film Review: Surrogates

I've been waiting to see this movie for months (or since I've heard Rosamund Pike was cast opposite Bruce Willis...and them playing as a couple in this my full review further down below to read my thoughts about their pairing in this movie...), but I didn't have any high hopes or expectations for this one, other than to be entertained and enjoyed watching this movie. I'm glad I didn't as I honestly had zero expectations, because I mostly like and enjoy watching a movie more when I don't know what to expect and just watch it for what it is.

Not too mention, I avoided pretty much most of the spoilers, only saw the trailer a couple times and the TV spots several times on TV, but they were pretty much the same, so it really didn't spoil me, lol. Also, I ignored the critics' reviews prior to seeing this movie (I mostly don't agree with them anyway 'cause I often like the movies they don't like, so their reviews don't affect my viewing especially if it's a movie I'm looking forward to seeing...) So, it was a nice movie viewing experience and this movie didn't least it didn't for me.

Ok, here's my review for this film ...

[Warning! ... for those who haven't seen this movie and don't want to be spoiled...]

starring Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike,
Radha Mitchell, Boris Kodjoe

Watch the trailer for Surrogates below...

[source: 098artist]

Here's a brief synopsis for Surrogates:
Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others’ surrogates.

I must say this movie was pretty good. My kind of movie to watch actually (kinda like the other Bruce Willis film, The Fifth Element, Tom Cruise's Minority Report, and Will Smith's I, Robot to name a few action/sci-fi films I enjoyed watching). It's a plus too that I love action and science fiction genres (as well as many other genres in pretty much every movie I like or enjoyed watching...I guess that's the best part about being a movie lover, lol), but of course, it has to be done right. I thought this movie did just that and though I didn't read the graphic novel it was adapted from, I loved this movie anyway and with Bruce Willis leading the can't go wrong, at least, in my opinion, he mostly doesn't disappoint me anyway, lol. What can I say, I love Bruce Willis! He is one of my all-time favorite actors and I mostly love his movies. He's always good in them playing different characters and his acting's very good too (whether he's doing action or drama or even comedy...he's just that talented and versatile with his acting ability). He was very good in this movie as well. I always root for his character especially when he's playing the good guy, of course. In Surrogates, Bruce Willis plays agent Tom Greer, one of the FBI agents partnered with Radha Mitchell's character, agent Jennifer Peters. They used their flawless young-looking surrogates robots to go to work, do their job and investigate crimes together, but they are actually in isolation from from a steam chair in the comfort of their homes and looks older and a mess compare to there surrogates, lol. So, basically, Bruce and co-stars were playing dual roles: one, their real selves and the other, their surrogate robots in a futuristic world, but they are still identified as one and the same person even if they used a different surrogate or they appear in their real-selves. Bruce and Radha were pretty good as partners/agents here especially their surrogates. They were so believable when they were playing their perfect looking robotic selves, lol. Anyway, Bruce's character Tom was getting tired of relying on his surrogate (who is much younger looking than he actually is...Bruce looked younger too in his surrogate look. his blonde hair though looks kinda funny...) and just wanted to see more of his wife (not her always-perfect-looking surrogate)...his real wife, Maggie. They live in the same house, yet they barely see each other. I thought that was strange, not too mention she wasn't as loving and affectionate to him as he was trying to be to her, but it seems there was a reason for that...a family tragedy.

Rosamund Pike (I must say, she's so underrated and one of my favorite actresses after seeing her in Pride & Prejudice with Keira Knightley and Wives and Daughters), played the beautiful Maggie Greer, the distant wife of Bruce Willis' character, agent Tom Greer. She was so beautiful and flawless in this film especially when she plays her surrogate robotic self (interesting though 'cause that's what Rosamund really looks like in real-life, except for the robotic acting, lol). Like Bruce, I thought Rosamund was great playing dual roles here. She really nailed both roles: the real fragile and vulnerable Maggie (they made her look older and a mess here) and her perfect looking surrogate version. Rosamund was perfect in playing her dual role. She was so convincing as the surrogate robot of her character Maggie (and at the same time just beautiful to look at on the big screen and I'm a straight female, lol...but she just looked perfect and flawless when she plays and get into her surrogate version), not too mention her American accent sounded fluent to me. Though I've heard her speak in an American accent before in her Fracture movie (with Ryan Gosling and Sir Anthony Hopkins), but she played a very small role (and not a likable one either) in that film that you hardly noticed or hear her American accent, lol. In this film, she had a big supporting role opposite Bruce Willis, which I thought was great because I wanted to see more of Rosamund Pike (as she's a really good actress, who mostly appeared in small roles in most of her films) and I was pleased to see more of her in this one. Also, I love her American accent and speaking voice. She sounded as great as she looks (she kinda reminded me of Isla Fisher, who speaks fluent American accent in Confessions of a Shopaholic and most of her movies)...if I didn't know Rosamund was British, I would think she's American as her American accent was really good here. I'd say, she was much pretty good or say even better than her P&P co-star, Keira Knightley (I thought she sounded kinda odd at first, with an American accent in both of her The Jacket and Silk movies, but it was very nice to hear and understand her better or rather clearly in her American accent than in her native British accent...even though she sounds cute in her natural British accent, lol) as Rosamund sounds so natural with both her native British accent and the American accent she was sporting in this film. So yeah, Rosamund did a great job not only playing dual roles, but also with her American accent.

I was very impressed with her dual acting (and had been looking forward for months to seeing her) in this movie and loved all her scenes with or without Bruce's Tom character opposite her. Her real Maggie character was without make-up most of the time and still, she looked good, but was made to look much older than her surrogate, perfect self. She was mostly a mess - sad, vulnerable, and depressed in her real-self because she and her estranged husband Tom lost their young son to a car accident. It also created friction between her and Tom's relationship and marriage. They barely talk as their real-selves and she'd only communicate with him through her surrogate robot. She didn't like talking about their problems especially their son's death, nor even a mention of his name. In one scene in the hospital where Tom was admitted to after his surrogate was shot, he and Maggie's surrogate were watching television when they saw a commercial about surrogate kids, it made her unhappy (yet, she had no emotions, lol) and she turned off the TV. She seems to be be avoiding any young boys/kids that reminded her so much of their deceased young son. Tom, on the other hand, wanted to talk to her, their son, and about them going on a vacation. But she didn't want to discuss any of it. Though they're were still basically grieving the loss of their son, but Maggie was grieving more in private from their son's loss than Tom as she'd rather focused herself more in her work and her surrogate robotic version than to work it out or talk to him about their loss.

Speaking of Maggie & Tom, I love their scenes together (even when Maggie's in communicating with him through her surrogate self) especially when she asked him (after he beat up the surrogate talking/flirting with his wife, lol), she said, "What do you want from me? He said, "my wife...I want my wife" and she said, "I am your wife"...and he said, "No, you're not. The woman in that room is my wife..." (or something close to those lines, lol). But then, she just wouldn't talk to him about what he wants to talk to her or ask her, so she left him and closed the door behind her as she went inside into her steam chair in her isolation room. The other scene where she was in her surrogate robotic self (again) and was working, her husband, the real Tom (his surrogate robot was damaged after getting shot in an earlier scenes) stopped by to see her, apologized to their argument the previous night, and wanted for them to work things out and get back to their normal lives together as well as talked about not being able to stop thinking about their son. She got angry and didn't want to deal with him nor talk about their problems (and the pain of losing their son, but what she was not realizing was that she was making things worse by not talking to Tom about it), so she she paused her surrogate robot to end their conversation and ignore him (I thought that was mean of her to do that to her loving and caring husband, lol)...and when she opened her eyes and to get back to her real-self, she was crying and you could see she was a mess and was still not over their son's death...the pills she was using was probably to help her with her grief and depression. She seems miserable when she's back to reality and her normal self. It was sad and heartbreaking to see that side of her (I felt her pain), the real her, whereas her other perfect surrogate robotic self has no real feelings (without emotions for sure), and doesn't show her vulnerable side (you wouldn't know she has problems by just looking at her beautiful and flawlessly- perfect-looking face, lol). It was a nice contrast between the two sides of Maggie. I thought Rosamund played both sides brilliantly. She was very convincing in both, but I was rooting more for the real Maggie - for her to get better and to work it out with Tom and their marriage. Did she or didn't she? You'll have to watch this movie to find out if she did or not. All, I can say is that I was pleased and satisfied with the ending, lol.

As for the other cast/supporting characters (James Cromwell as the older Canter, Boris Kodjoe as Stone (Tom's boss), and Ving Rhames as The Prophet to name a few familiar faces in the cast) , I thought they were pretty good too. The twists from a few characters were interesting to find out. I didn't suspect two of them to be what they really were.

Overall, this movie was great, fun, and very interesting to watch from beginning to end. I really enjoyed and was into it. Also, it was fast paced (I was surprised at how wide awake I was throughout this movie, lol) and kinda different from those other sci-fi/robot genre type of films I've seen in a long time. It seemed kinda short though just over an hour and 28 minutes long, but I didn't mind. I liked the run-time and length of the film. It doesn't dragged on for too long nor bore you to death like other epic films such as Lord of the Rings and Star Wars trilogies. I loved and enjoyed the action, the twists, suspense, visual effects, and the surrogate robots they used for this film (plus the main actors themselves were playing their own surrogates with brilliant make-up that made them look so young and perfect (esp. Rosamund and Radha)...they were believable as surrogate robots, but when surrogates get seems they would be replaced with their robot models/counterparts, which I thought was very interesting). Bruce Willis, Rosamund Pike, Radha Mitchell, and the rest of the cast were all great in their dual roles.

I recommend you see this movie (if you haven't yet) especially if you love action and sci-fi genre flicks, a fan of either Bruce Willis or Rosamund Pike, or both (like I am)'ll love and enjoy it as much as I did. Go see it!

My Surrogates Film Rating: ! (9.5/10; A)


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