Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Rating : 5/10
Release Date : Sep, 2009
Time : 88 minutes
Director : Jonathan Mostow; Writer : Michael Ferris, John D Brancato (graphic novel by Robert Vendetti & Brett Weldele); Music : Richard Marvin
Starring : Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, Boris Kodjoe, James Francis Ginty, James Cromwell, Ving Rhames

This is yet another film about machines slowly taking over, with a greedy corporation leading & fuelling the charge. What gives it a little more credence than most is an ageing Bruce Willis, with the same sad, soulful look as he had in ‘The Sixth Sense’.

VSI corporation starts the development of prosthetics which move via sensors linked to the wearer’s brain. Soon that leads to robots and later, surrogates, human look-alikes, controlled by the humans who sit inside the house and let the surrogates go out and do the work. All this is shown by the time the opening credits end.

Bruce Willis is an FBI detective, investigating a rare homicide in this surrogate pervasive world. His case leads him to corruption in high places, corporations obsessed with profits, a disillusioned inventor (James Cromwell) and also to question the whole idea of surrogates….

A couple of subplots which were novel involved a weapon which when used on a surrogate could actually harm the human controller and the settlements which are declared surrogate-free, where only humans are allowed.
Unfortunately, the rest is all old hat, old wine in a new bottle etc, nothing here that we haven’t seen before. The plot meanders along expected storylines and ends exactly as you would guess.

Some interesting thoughts though. Are we as humans relying too much on too many machines ? There used to be a time when I had 20-30 phone numbers memorized. Now, I struggle with 5, relying completely on my mobile phone and God if that’s lost. If our server shuts down, we now treat the day like a holiday, as who can work without computers ? And life is unimaginable without the internet, already there are people who have more online friends and spend more time with them vs those in real life.

All the technologies shown in the film are possible. Maybe it will be a long while before its as pervasive but its possible. Is that really then the future mankind is heading towards ? Sobering thought….

1 comment:

Pradosh said...

I agree with all your thoughts about the movie - except your rating of the movie. I thought the movie's realism (such a technology is surely possible in the next 10-20 years) made it much more interesting and worthy of a higher rating.
If the rather cheesy ending were rewritten, I think it would be a really great movie