DVD Review - Surrogates

People are living their lives remotely from the safety of their own homes via robotic surrogates -- sexy, physically perfect mechanical representations of themselves. It's an ideal world where crime, pain, fear and consequences don't exist. When the first murder in years jolts this utopia, FBI agent Greer discovers a vast conspiracy behind the surrogate phenomenon and must abandon his own surrogate, risking his life to unravel the mystery.

Surrogates falls under the same lines as I, Robot, the Terminator films, or any other number of movies that warn us against letting technology get too far ahead of us and mankind relying too heavily on machines. It also carries a warning against mankind being too reliable on technology as a means of communicating and us losing the personal touch and not truly or physically living. The film is adapted from the graphic novel written by Robert Venditti and illustrated by Brett Weldele (Ultimate Spider-Man, B-Sides, Southland Tales). Is it a good film? Does it accomplish what it was intended to? I would say yes. I thought it to be pretty well made and entertaining. Was it really anything new? The answer to that question would be no. But is anything really new or something we haven’t seen before?

Bruce Willis pretty much plays a character you’ve come to know him by – the rogue cop with family and personal issues who is driven to get the job done by any means necessary. Only, this time he does it packaged for half the film in a Ken-type robot body that has one of the greatest synthetic hairpieces I’ve seen since Nic Cage’s last film was released. Not only does he look like Ken, but his work partner is almost the spitting-image of Barbie. Another completely predictable bit of casting is in James Cromwell, who plays the kooky scientist who gets mislead or whose creation is misused for evil. You know, the same role he’s played in movies like I, Robot and Star Trek: First Contact. This is almost verbatim the same role he played in I, Robot for sure. He does a good job at it, though.

Special Features:
If you purchase this in a regular DVD format, you pretty much get the bare bones. There’s no inner booklet with chapters or liner notes – just the disc. The special features are basically commentary by director Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) and a music video by Breaking Benjamin for “I Will Not Bow.”

If you purchase the Blu-ray version, it comes chock full of exclusive extras. You get Deleted Scenes, A More Perfect You: The Science of Surrogates featurette, Breaking the Frame: A Graphic Novel Comes to Life featurette, and everything else that comes with the regular DVD version. If you have Blu-ray, then you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. (Review by Eric Shirey)