Some films start out with bad buzz from the get-go and never seem to shake it, even as people actually see the film. The comments end up being “it’s not as bad as I thought it would be” or “ah, it’s okay”. Surrogates had this problem, and it’s because of the star: Bruce Willis. He’s an actor who has had what Hollywood types call a “checkered career”, with some great films (Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, Twelve Monkeys) and some bombs (Hudson Hawk, Hostage).
In this future world, the surrogates are all assembled by a single company, Virtual Self Incorporated (VSI), founded by robotics expert Dr. Lionel Canter (James Cromwell). Turns out that it’s his son who was killed in the beginning of the film, and the story then begins to unfold.