Surrogates feels either like an early first draft or maybe one half of a discarded final draft; this half-baked, shrift movie is not complete by any means. It’s too streamlined following the most obvious plot beats imaginable and adding nothing new to the sci-fi genre. In the future, people don’t go out, they just sit back and experience the world through the eyes of their surrogate robotic person. This plot device is ripe for social commentary but instead it just becomes the starting point for a snoozy detective story destined to climax in “My God, what have we done?” territory. There is too many interesting avenues the story could have gone but it doggedly sticks to the well-tread main road of sci-fi: technology will turn against us. The movie comes across like one long allegorical jab against people devoted to technology, namely the Internet, and the end might as well carry big flashing letters that spell, “Got outside and play, you nerds!” The action and special effects are listless, and director Jonathon Mostow (Terminator 3) waited so long to make this movie but you never feel his interest in a single frame. I suppose, in the end, there is no surrogate for good writing.
Nate’s Grade: C