Surrogates (2009): Die Hardly or How to Underuse Bruce Willis

Surrogates summary in 21 words:

This isn’t an action film or comedy. The plot is interesting in theory but poorly executed. It was okay, not great.

End of summary. Thank you, thank you.

Bruce Willis plays yet another cop in Surrogates, but that’s one role that he’s very, very good at. Only this time, Bruce doesn’t get to kick a lot of butt. It’s very sad, but I love Bruce Willis and that is why I gave this movie a chance. Surrogates is a look into our future when people no longer live their lives with their actual body, but through a robot, a “surrogate.” The people can control their surrogates with their mind in the comfort of their own home, never have to leave the house or do anything, and do whatever dangerous activities they want. The surrogate can get completely annihilated and yet the operator will be just fine, except for the cost of a new surrogate. Also, the surrogates can look like anything the operators want them too, which means you’ll never know what the person really looks like. I personally think I would want a dog as my surrogate. How often do you get to walk around looking like a dog? I’d dress up the dog in sunglasses and a trench coat and join the police force. Just imagine a talking police dog wearing a rainbow colored trench coat and huge glittery sunglasses interrogating your ass all the while smoking a cigar! That would be my surrogate, so you’ll have to pick something else for yours.


Bruce Willis (Agent Tom Greer) investigates a homicide of two surrogates and their operators. Get this – the humans died while they were plugged in to their surrogates! This is unheard of! Gasp! Truthfully, it wasn’t very exciting. The big mystery of the film was not that big and even the most thickheaded of moviegoers could probably see most of it coming anyway. Now here are my biggest complaints. There was absolutely no humor in this film and very little action. Spoiler Alert: Bruce’s talent to kick ass was incredibly underused. No, it just plain wasn’t used. He didn’t kill anyone. He didn’t even beat any people up, just one surrogate which didn’t really accomplish anyone since he’s a robot. Huge Spoiler Alert: The big baddie killed himself at the end. Agent Tom Greer was just another cop who took a beating instead of handing them out. And I get it that not every movie with Bruce Willis in it has to have him kicking ass. He is capable of doing other stuff or he might want to branch out…but he needs to quit that soon because he is awesome at kicking ass and I want to see more of it!


So, the movie was alright. It was “meh.” It was interesting but it didn’t blow me away.

Time until initial action: ~ 6 minutes

Time until real action starts: ~ 28 minutes

Best Line: “Honey, I don’t know what you are. For all I know you could be some fat dude sitting in a chair with his dick hanging out.”

Best Kill: Pseudo-Bruce (Bruce Willis’ surrogate) is chasing a real human who committed a crime. Pseudo-Bruce’s helicopter crashes and explodes and his arm gets torn off, but it’s Pseudo-Bruce so it’s no big deal. So he gets up and shakes it off in time for a pick up truck to smash into him. It will take more than that to take down Pseudo-Bruce because his operator Bruce Willis is a super bad ass. The truck barely slowed him down, so a woman shot him in the chest with a shot gun. Then, since apparently they’ve seen Bruce’s previous work, they hung Pseudo-Bruce on a cross that said, “Die Robot Pig!” That finally took care of Pseudo-Bruce, but then the real Bruce came after them. Dum dum dum.

Best Explosion: As mentioned earlier, Pseudo-Bruce is in a helicopter that is about to crash because the driver has been killed. It goes down in the middle of the reservation for real humans and takes out some shacks and cardboard box mansions. Man, that sucks for the humans. I bet they worked really hard to fix up their boxes all purty like. The helicopter explodes a couple of times before it comes to a stop and Pseudo-Bruce walks away from the crash and keeps chasing the baddie.

Action Rating: 1 Pseudo-Bruce Willis With a Creepy Hairdo, out of 5


Illustration by Alex Langley. Rocket Llama World Headquarters

This is the Action Flick Chick, and you’ve just been kicked in the ass!

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10 thoughts on “Surrogates (2009): Die Hardly or How to Underuse Bruce Willis

  1. Karen

    Great review! Your thoughts mirror mine. It could have been really cool but it wasn't. His partner's personality was so bland. I wanted to care for her character but I couldn't. The concept could make for an interesting TV show though.

  2. Pingback: Rocket Llama HQ - » Surrogates (2009): Die Hardly or How to Underuse Bruce Willis

  3. Brian

    I agree it was just sadly bland.

    I wanted more Bruce slow head turns and punching.

    Also, the overall logic of that society made no sense to me. I think crime would be absolutely out of control with this technology, especially if you can run around as someone else altogether. Hackers would be all over jacking into people's Surrogates and committing crimes.

    Apparently car design stopped in 2009 and they still have paper-based files at the police station in this version of the future also.

  4. filmgurl

    I agree. It was ok but I didn't hate the movie. A lot of people gave it really bad reviews, though it did keep my attention and I found myself intrigued by the whole concept of the film. I think the execution and the plot was a bit skewed and hashed all together, I think it could have been a good movie. Nice review!
    p.s. I found Bruce Willis' "surrogate" kind of comical. For some reason, it looked kind of weird with the blondish type hair and hairstyle he had – there was just something about it that didn't look right. The real character was more Bruce Willis – more rough looking kind of guy. I guess maybe that's why they made his "surrogate" look a bit different! 🙂

  5. Reel Whore

    "a talking police dog wearing a rainbow colored trench coat and huge glittery sunglasses interrogating your ass all the while smoking a cigar!"

    Dangit! I already had my coat picked out and everything.

    Have to agree with you Surrogates was just ok. Bruised does a good job, but more ass-whoopin' would have been appreciated.

    BTW, I've used your post in my new Movie Menage column:

  6. Landeros

    Bruce Willis should also get a lifetime achievement award for the many great films that he had ;

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