johnlink ranks SURROGATES (2009)

Went on a whim over to the theater to check out SURROGATES. I’ll give an Bruce Willis movie a shot, and am generally a fan of sci-fi. I had heard some negative things from people coming out of this one, but wasn’t sure if that was due to the film being over the head of the general film-going audience, as some subversive sci-fi is. Nope. Not this one.

This film tells the story of a detective who becomes one of the few people in society who does not use a surrogate body to go through day-to-day life.

I watched SURROGATES (2009) in theaters on 10.4.09. It was my first viewing of the film.

NOTE: THIS RANKING UTILIZES THIS SITE’S ORIGINAL SYSTEMIC ARTICLE WRITING METHOD. THE METHOD BY WHICH THE RANKINGS WERE ARRIVED AT, HOWEVER, REMAIN THE SAME.

FILM

This movie could have, and should have, had a bigger vision. For an $80 million picture budget, this sure felt more like a pilot episode of a SyFy series rather than a standalone movie. It never felt like a global movie, but rather a narrowly-scoped yawn which is afraid to look at a grander idea. Keeping things tight worked for CHILDREN OF MEN, it does not at all work for SURROGATES. A lot of the message of people becoming disconnected through society and becoming reclusive zombies loses itself in the fact that the society of people who have rejected surrogacy are faceless and violent. This whole thing just felt confused and unfocused from the beginning. SCORE: 3

MOVIE

Here is the part where I rip film producers for releasing a trailer which gives away one of the two surprises of the movie. We know exactly what is going to happen at the end because we all saw it in the frickin’ trailer. I hate that. It really did ruin the climax for me, and whoever made the decision to put out that trailer clearly cares more about putting asses in seats than the enjoyment of said asses (wait… I made that sound like an insult to the audience. Whoops). SCORE: 5

ACTING

The Marcellus Wallace and Butch reunion wasn’t as good as I had hoped. One meaningless scene. Ving Rhames is probably the best thing in this film, but that is not saying much. Willis doesn’t seem to care much, and James Cromwell is entirely wasted. I love Radha Mitchell, and she has been in some of my favorite surprise films, but she doesn’t really do anything of note here. SCORE: 4

WRITING

I wonder if there was a longer script out there which felt more global. Because this film just never had any sense of the rest of the world. It took place in ‘Boston’, but really never felt like it. I’m just trying to sort out the problems and where they occurred. I’m not sure this script originally sucked, but all I can go by is what ends up on film. And the simplicity of this script, with no memorable dialogue, just never translated to anything close to a good movie. SCORE: 3

BONUS

The makeup in this film is incredible. Don’t be surprised if it is nominated for an Oscar (which could lead to a DVD box which reads Oscar Winner: SURROGATES). The difference between the surrogates and ‘real’ people is nicely done. The tendency is to commend the artificial look of the surrogates only, but the brutal look of the people who have been under for so long coming out is nicely realized. SCORE: 1

FINAL TALLY

FILM: 3; MOVIE: 5; ACTING: 4; WRITING: 3; BONUS: 1

3+5+4+3+1= 16

FINAL SCORE: 4

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~ by johnlink00 on October 5, 2009.

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