[[quoteright:252:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Surrogates-001_83.jpg]]

''Surrogates'' is a film by Jonathan Mostow (''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'') based on the comic ''Comicbook/TheSurrogates''. Creator/BruceWillis stars.

Set TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture (2017), ''Surrogates'' gives us a world where everybody (or at least the USA) lives through robotic puppets known as Surrogates. The appeal of this lifestyle is obvious from the outset: Freedom to live life the way you want, looking how you want, without the downsides of pain and death. That is until FBI Agent Tom Greer comes across a victim somehow killed ''through'' their Surrogate.

Given how large a role Surrogates play in people's lives, Greer expectantly meets heavy resistance to the notion someone is able to target people through their mechanical avatars. And as it becomes more clear that there is someone attempting to destroy this way of life Tom soon finds himself outside the safety of his machine body.

The film primarily deals with [[WhatYouAreInTheDark identity problems]] and warns against the use of crutches for [[NoMedicationForMe those who don't need them]].

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!!''Surrogates'' provides examples of:
* AnAesop: A rather {{Anvilicious}} one in the film about how we should all get up off our collective duff and interact with people eyeball-to-eyeball.
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler: Lionel Cantor has some sympathetic qualities (putting aside the murdering pregnant women part); he regrets inventing the surrogates and wants to free humanity from his mistake. Until at the end in a case of [[WhatTheHellHero What the Hell Anti-Villain?]] he decides to [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope cause one billion completely avoidable deaths]].]]
* AsYouKnow: Considering surrogates have been around for 11 years, Greer and Peters sure like telling each other about them.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:Lionel Canter, who invented surrogates in the first place. He's also the one who dropped copious hints to Greer as if he ''wanted'' to be stopped. [[MagnificentBastard Or maybe he was just playing with him.]]]]
** It's possible he would have liked there to be another way to reach his goal, but he was so deep in depression and grief that he couldn't find it.
* BecomingTheMask: Maggie Greer.
* BetterToDieThanBeKilled: [[spoiler: Cantor.]]
* BigApplesauce: Averted. The film was shot in Boston. the comic was set in Central Georgia Metropolis.
* BloodlessCarnage: The surrogates are machines.
** [[AlienBlood Except they do seem to leak an awful lot of green hydraulic fluid when smashed.]]
* CaptainObvious
-->'''Guard:''' You look terrible!
-->'''Tom Greer:''' Thanks. You, too.
** Not to mention that Peters remarks in amazement that Tom looks like his surrogate. While we see other surrogates can have different appearances to their operators and Peters may not have been partnered with Tom before Surrogates became common place, you'd think the [=FBI=] of all people, would keep photographic records of Agent's ''actual appearance'' in their personnel files.
* TheChessmaster: [[spoiler:Lionel Canter.]]
* ChildrenAreInnocent: They can remind Greer of his own innocence by playing baseball!
* DeusExMachina: [[spoiler: Saunders suddenly changes the rules of the superweapon out of nowhere so it doesn't kill anyone.]]
* DynamicEntry: The fashion in which Tom enters Maggie's room, without even trying the door beforehand.
* ExpendableClone: Any surrogate not [[spoiler: zapped by the superweapon]] from the army to the annoying guy Greer punches out at his wife's party.
* EyeScream: The weapon's effects. Also [[{{Squick}} liquefies brains]].
* FaceHeelTurn: [[spoiler: Peters' surrogate.]]
* FantasticDrug: "Jacking" aka "electro-bong meets vibrator."
* FantasticRacism: In less than 10 years, everyone who doesn't use a Surrogate is looked down upon as being an uncultured luddite by the masses who call them "Meatbags" and "Dreads" and treat them as though they are sub-human. This despite the fact that they themselves have to routinely offline in order get off their own "meatbag" asses in order to eat or use the bathroom.
** On the other hand, the "Dreads" are not much better, being able to rapidly organise a lynch-mob once they realise that Greer is a Surrogate. Not to mention, Surrogate or not, there is really no excuse for unloading a double-barrelled shotgun into someone's face and still think you get to keep the moral high-ground afterwards.
** In fairness, that's not half as bad as the things the Surrogates do to ''each other''.
* FantasticSlurs: "Meatbag".
* {{GIFT}} and {{GIRL}}: Among the first victims of the OD is a hot female model surrogate that turns out to be an old, fat man, and people tend to use the no-consequence nature of Surrogates with abandon.
* GrandTheftMe: [[spoiler:Canter kills Greer's partner, and impersonates her via Surrogate]].
** [[spoiler:And then Greer himself hijacks the surrogate, from the dead man's chair no less, to stop the surrogate-shutdown from killing billions]].
* GreenAesop: At least in the film, being "close to nature" (not just the abandonment of surrogates) is portrayed as being of a higher moral caliber.
* HellBentForLeather: It's the last act. Bruce Willis has reclaimed his humanity and is going to kick ass. Time to don a black leather jacket!
* HeyItsThatGuy: James Cromwell as a technological genius whose invention has revolutionized the world? [[Film/IRobot Where have I seen this bit before?]]
** Though at least there, said technological genius wasn't [[EvilGenius insanely frickin' evil]]...
** [[Film/StarTrekFirstContact Hey, hasn't James revolutionized the world 3 times by now?]]
** Bobby Sounders? That's [[HomeAlone Buzz]]. No, really.
* {{Homage}}: Oh boy. ''SnowCrash'', ''Film/BladeRunner'', ''Film/MinorityReport'' (in fact anything Creator/PhilipKDick ever wrote), ''Film/TheTerminator'', ''Film/TheMatrix'', ''Film/MarsAttacks'', ''Film/BicentennialMan'', ''Literature/IRobot'', (and other works of Creator/IsaacAsimov), ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'', ''Series/DoctorWho'', ''Film/{{Westworld}}'', ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'', ''GhostInTheShell''.
** DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: Lionel Canter, the inventor of Surrogates, is played by the same actor as Alfred Lanning, the creator of the Three Laws from ''Film/IRobot''.
* ItsAllAboutMe: [[spoiler: Canter and Greer]] feels entitled to decide that the world should be changed to fit their worldview. [[spoiler: Canter especially, who feels entitled to dictate how people use the technology he invented, by mass murder if necessary.]]
* JustInTime: [[spoiler:The virus upload.]]
* LemmingCops: There's only one of them, but the sheer carnage that Tom wreaks in the chase scene qualifies.
* MarionetteMaster: Well, everyone. But specifically Lionel Cantor.
* MayDecemberRomance: Tom and Maggie.
* MegaCorp: VSI.
* MisappliedPhlebotinum: In this film exists the technology to control machines with your mind. Take a few minutes and think about what the world would really be like if we had that. For example, why control robot infantry that look human and are even wearing combat fatigues and helmets? Why not just control a tank?
** Unless the human mind is unable to cope with controlling a non-human interface? Imagine the difficulty a surrogate might have if it was given control over seven fingers, instead of the usual five?
*** Studies of video games and prosthetics both have shown that our minds are highly adaptive to mapping existing motor functions to new action outputs.
* TheMole: [[spoiler:Strickland was working for Andrew Stone, who wanted Canter dead, possibly on VSI orders.]]
* MostCommonSuperpower: Notable among many female "surries".
* MyselfMyAvatar: The Surrogates.
* NewMediaAreEvil: A world where everyone stays home all day and only interacts with each other via an avatar that only reflects what you want other people to see? Gee, that couldn't possibly be a metaphor for something, could it?
* NoEndorHolocaust: Justified in the big car pileup in the middle of the film since most people would be using surrogates. However [[spoiler: it's played straight in the ending. We are told explicitly no humans died when surrogates went offline, despite the likelihood many were flying planes, performing surgery, driving and other tasks that could cause widescale devestation if interrupted.]]
** And the excuse that "most people are surrogates anyway, so few would be hurt" doesn't wash. Even if a crashing plane's occupants were all surrogates, there's nothing stopping said plane from hitting a populated area, with hundreds of thousands unable to escape because they were plugged into their own surrogates and unaware of the danger. A surgeon working through a surrogate would still, presumably, be working on a flesh-and-blood patient, who might die if their surgeon, and possibly the entire operating room staff, were all surrogates who suddenly went offline in mid-operation. Etc., etc.
* OnlySaneMan: Tom Greer. Downplayed--he is the only sane man ''in the surrogate world''. There are plenty of people that agree with him on the reservations.
* PreemptiveDeclaration: "I found Greer. He's been in an accident at Market and Andover." And then Greer looks up and sees the street signs...
* RedShirt: Five armed cops cornering a fleeing suspect clutching a mysterious grey box? This isn't going to end well.
* RedShirtArmy: The U.S. Army surrogates, called ''G.I.'' Joes. Hur hur.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler:Lionel Canter.]]
* RemoteBody: The basic premise of the movie.
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:Canter is The Prophet.]]
* RevisedEnding: In the comic, [[spoiler:Maggie commits suicide after her surrogate is destroyed.]] In the film, she and Tom just hug.
* RidiculouslyHumanRobots: Hmm Bruce Willis sure looks like [[RobotMe Robot Bruce Willis]], that could be confusing. Fortunately one has a beard and the other wears a wig!
* RoboticAssemblyLines: Produce surrogate bodies.
* RoboticReveal: Done as a TearOffYourFace.
* SexlessMarriage: Tom and Maggie Greer.
* TearOffYourFace: It's a robot!!
* ThisIsGonnaSuck: Greer laying there staring down one of the Dreads' double-barrel shotgun after already being blasted in the chest by it.
* TimeBomb: [[spoiler:The virus upload.]]
* TheExtremistWasRight: This seems implied of [[spoiler: Canter]].
* UrbanSegregation: The Prophet's enclave.
* UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans: No less than three times.
** The absolute control the FBI has over all surrogates (which are used by ~99% of the world--[[FridgeLogic even third-world countries]]). Oh, and no one knows they can play God, either.
** [[spoiler:Except for Canter who intends to use it to destroy every surrogate everywhere, '''and every user'''.]]
** [[spoiler:Except that he gets stopped, and ''Tom'' is the one who ultimately does the deed, destroying the surrogates but only after ensuring that no one would die.]]
* VillainHasAPoint: [[spoiler:And Greer ultimately seems to agree with it in the end judging by his actions (or lack thereof in the particulars). He just manages to go about Canter's plan in a less mass-murdery way.]]
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: I can be anything I want without anyone ever finding out, and the worst thing that can happen to me is that I have to order a new robot? What could ''possibly'' go wrong here?
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