Thursday, October 15, 2009

Surrogates: The First Thirty Minutes or So

I've never walked out of a movie before, and I suppose that record remains untarnished given that leaving "Surrogates" can only be accurately described as a drive-out. To help you form a better case ID for my psychological state at the time, it's important to point out that it was a particularly chilly early October evening at the drive-in, and we had to run the AC in the car every ten minutes to keep the front windshield from fogging up. It had also become rather close to midnight, and when "Surrogates" didn't immediately hook me, I made no apologies for feeling sleepy.

As far as I could tell from the first half hour of the film, "Surrogates" spends a lot of time setting up its world, without explaining why surrogacy is actually a thing.

To the uninitiated, surrogates are robotic avatars that humans remotely operate to perform the menial tasks involved in their day-to-day lives, however the concept employs an inherent double standard. Namely, you can have sex as your surrogate, and it's supposed to feel totally righteous or whatever, but apparently the machines are also incapable of relaying pain to their hosts. How is it possible for them to differentiate the perceptions of pain and pleasure or transmit one and not the other? What if you're into S&M? Furthermore, why is experiencing life through a surrogate preferable to a first-hand experience?

These questions swam back and forth in my drowsy mind as Bruce Willis and his possibly sentient hairpiece began investigating the death of certain hosts via their surrogates. In each case there was some guy blasting the robot with a special electricity gun. Seems like a pretty open and shut case, boys.

And then a Rastafarian cult leader showed up, and with his head edge lit by the sun, spoke directly to me. I knew the rest of the film would be too great a struggle to overcome.

I can't, in good conscience, give "Surrogates" a numerical score, but it receives the dubious honor of being the first film to literally drive me away.

No comments:

Post a Comment