Viewed – 27 November 2011 Online rental
Bruce Willis seems to be becoming less the A-list movie star he was, and more the next Nicholas Cage, turning his hand to pretty much anything that’s offered him. Which is a shame, as this run-of-the-mill sci-fi thriller really is beneath his talents. He plays a Cop living in a society where everyone experiences their lives through robot ‘surrogates’, never leaving the house, never getting ill, and strapped into a machine. With a shady company behind the robots, and someone killing off robots and inadvertently killing their human counterparts, it’s up to Willis to break free from his isolated existence, and figure out what’s gone wrong.
Directed by Jonathan Mostow (Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines), this feels very much like I-Robot, but lacks that film’s impressive future-world imagery beyond the robots, and for me the general concept lacked believability. I couldn’t grasp how the world would really adopt such a technology so universally, and be happy to never leave their homes, but for a few ‘non-believers’. The idea, albeit a touch Stepford Wives, is absorbing, and perhaps with a broader focus, could have turned into great sc-fi with plenty to leave you thinking. As it stands, with a plot that is more confusing than coherent, and a lack of interesting supporting characters (Ving Rhames’ preaching ‘the prophet’ is just one big cliché, and James Cromwell could’ve played his part in his sleep), I was actually becoming bored after a while. Willis is acceptable, but doesn’t do much other than look over-the-hill and out of shape, and the somewhat interesting sub-plot concerning his dead son and his reclusive wife, is under explored. That being said, the effects work is impressive, and some of the action, especially a couple of decent on-foot chases, are great. At the end of the day though, this just didn’t hold my attention long enough for me to recommend it.
Verdict: 2 /5