I have to admit, I wasn’t really planning to watch this film. I didn’t even know what it was about, I never even saw the trailer. Though, it was more of a spur of the moment kind of thing – I was out voted by present company but decided to give it a try.
(Note: Usually, I recommend checking out the movie trailer and reading the reviews beforehand. However, I have gone and seen movies without knowing anything about them, without reading the reviews, and/or without seeing the trailer. And, I’ve had both good and bad experiences. Though, I always have a story to tell with the films I see on a “whim” – it’s the experience of seeing something unknown despite the outcome. And, having these experiences is what makes life interesting).
Basically, the movie is about humans living the kind of lives they’ve always wanted through robots (aka “surrogates’). And, these “surrogates” are the ones that go out in the world and live life while the humans (aka “the operators”) stay home with their brains connected to computers to control their individual “surrogate.”
Almost every human has their own “surrogate.” And, their “surrogate” is physically configured to look like however they want to be perceived. The surrogates do not necessarily have to look like their operator. For example, you can have a male operator with a female looking surrogate (scary thought!). Basically, the physical appearance of the surrogates lie in the hands of their operator(s).
I found the whole concept of the film very interesting. Surprisingly, the themes of the film closely resemble some of the issues we face today with the evolution of technology and the Internet. We are told the Internet is here to help us connect and communicate better with the world. In a way, that’s true. However, in another way it also secludes us from the world by limiting our physical interaction with others.
Some people say that spending too much time at the computer and the Internet is unhealthy because it inhibits our communication skills and our true nature to physically interact with others. More and more we are spending a great amount of time on the Internet, and I wonder if this will contribute to a lack of verbal skills and inability to interact with others in social, face to face settings? I wonder.
With the Internet, we are free to be anonymous if we choose. And, this freedom of anonymity allows others the opportunity to become whatever they like and to be perceived however they would like due to the physical barrier the Internet provides. On the other hand, the Internet allows us to communicate with many people, some we may not have been able to reach before. The Internet truly levels the playing field of human communication. Though, at what price?
The film addresses these issues and asks the ever so lasting question, “What makes us human?” It truly opened up my eyes and made me think, “With all the changes in technology, what is in store for the human race in the future?” With the evolution of technology, when is enough, enough? And, why do we always keep wanting more? These questions are what makes humans, human and eventually why sometimes wanting too much may not be the answer.
Overall, I found the movie to be more than ok but not great. It’s definitely a film that makes you think about the future and where we are headed. It does have a lot of action and kept my attention. Though, I think the story could have been better written.
At times, there were some parts that were a bit confusing especially since the film involved a lot of different characters. Also, the “special effects” were a bit comical (if you’ve seen the film, you’ll know what I mean). Though, they tied it up in the end – it didn’t have a strong ending but it did have its twists and turns resulting in an unexpected ending.
If you’re in the mood for a sci-fi type movie, this one is a toss up – it’s something you can see it at the theater or wait for it to come out on DVD. Either way, I think it’s one of those films that’s better than average but not over the top spectacular. Though, it does raise some interesting questions – it challenged me to think and question where our world is headed.
Happy movie watching!