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-Surrogates (PG13)

by Dr. D ~

Theater release: September 25, 2009 by Touchstone Pictures; Directed by: Jonathan Mostow; Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes; Cast: Bruce Willis (John Greer), Rosamund Pike (Maggie Greer), Radha Mitchell (Jennifer Peters), Ving Rhames (Zaire Powell), Boris Kodjoe (Anthony Stone), James Cromwell (Dr. Lionel Canter), Devin Ratray (Bobby Saunders), Jack Noseworthy (Miles Strickland)

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The movie presents a time in the near future when nearly all American are living their lives out through substitute robots who carry on their everyday activities for them while each person stays safely at home in their bedroom connected to the robot in a virtual world. What the robot feels, sees, tastes, and does is sent on and experienced by the operator. If the ‘surrogate’ suffers some kind of injury however, the real person is not affected—well that is the way it was supposed to be.

Bruce Willis plays detective John Greer who is investigating several murders by surrogate. The robot was injured and the damage was somehow passed on to the real operator who was killed back at home. The detective discovers that the inventor of the surrogate program is somehow involved in the production of this fatal computer virus that effects both surrogate and operator.

It is an action film that demonstrates the superman qualities of having a police force that are essentially robots. However, the movie also reveals the disconnect with reality that people begin to suffer from when they live their lives in a virtual world where only robot surrogates talk, touch, and make love while their operators are essentially disengaged from real relationships.

Detective Greer doesn’t like what it has done to the relationship between him and his wife Maggie and would like to get together with her for real once more. A solution is presented and Greer has an opportunity to reverse the whole thing.

The movie does raise deep questions about how life in the future will cope with technology getting in the way of real relationship as increasingly more and more of our lives are carried on in an antiseptic virtual world.

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