Verdict: 2.5 out of 5
The recent box office misfire Surrogates is based on a graphic novel with a clever premise: The world's populace sits at home in virtual hibernation, connected to sensors and diodes, operating robotic representations of themselves out in the world with their minds. I like this hook because it's really not that far removed from spending a day connected to a video game controller, something millions of people do more often than not. In this world, the death of a surrogate by an accident such as getting hit by a car while crossing the street leaves the hibernating owner untouched. Want to look sexier than you really do? That's possible here, too. The conflict in Surrogates arises when a couple of surrogates are "killed," and the action results in the deaths of the owners, as well. Enter Bruce Willis and his surrogate with really bad hair to tackle the case, which involves the remorseful inventor of surrogates, a military weapon and a protagonist steadily awakening to the dulled human existence of the surrogate world. The action intensifies as Willis casts aside his surrogate and reenters the world in his own skin. Although Willis spends some scenes trying to spark a renewed real-world connection with his wife, the movie lacks a compelling emotional anchor and ends up feeling much like the surrogates look — a bit too plastic and polished with nothing genuine underneath.