Trying to lure the self-hypnotized gamer nation out into the world to see a dystopian popcorn flick that paints Sims-style living as the end of civilization might seem like a fool's errand. And yet here comes "Surrogates," a slick sci-fi number that presents a future in which flawless, hot-bodied, chicly dressed synthetic humans do the everyday living/working/playing, their every action neurally controlled by their real-human counterparts, a risk-averse population of shut-ins who've gone to seed. An interesting idea, but unfortunately, the film's narrative and emotional engine operate as mechanically as the titular, dead-eyed glamazoids.
"Surrogates" stars Bruce Willis as Tom, who in the light of day is a nattily dressed, expressionless robot cop (with hair!) partnered with a model-licious fellow "surrie" (Radha Mitchell) but whose homebound version is a stubbly, heartbroken man unable to connect to his surrogate-addicted wife (Rosamund Pike) or get over the death of their son some years earlier. Human Tom must face the world, though, when his surrogate is destroyed chasing down a man responsible for a criminal rarity: actual human murders.
It all points to a conspiracy entangling the ubiquitous corporation behind surrogacy, the wheelchair-bound inventor of the technology (James Cromwell), and an anti-robot, save-humanity protest movement led by a dreadlocked figure named the Prophet (a hammy Ving Rhames). At the heart of it all is a mysterious weapon that when fired at a surrogate acts as the nastiest kind of computer virus, destroying its supposedly untouchable flesh-and-blood user too.