Surrogates: Silly But Suspenseful

Bruce Willis, in weird wig, tops 'smart' sci-fi flick
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2009 10:30 AM CDT
Bruce Willis gives interviews to the press at the world premiere of Surrogates at the El Capitan theatre, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009 in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo / Shea Walsh)
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(Newser) – Critics are lukewarm about Surrogates, the new sci-fi flick starring a surprisingly hirsute Bruce Willis, in which humans command tricked-out robots who do their work and play for them.

  • It's a "preposterous movie that luxuriates in its own silliness," says Stephanie Zacharek of Salon. There's a "heavy-duty moral," but the film is redeemed by "not taking itself too seriously."

  • Manohla Dargis of the New York Times likes the "nifty" premise, a combination of '70s sci-fi and Second Life, but the film "seems to be missing some connective narrative tissue"—and poor Willis is "forced into a dandified blond wig" to play the robot version of himself.
  • Todd McCarthy of Variety is more impressed. Director Jonathan Mostow puts in "de rigueur action scenes for the popcorn crowd," but this is a "smart speculative suspenser"—even if it's only 88 minutes long.