Surrogates Trailer = John McClane + Robots

Comic Con attendees got a peek at Disney's Surrogates, and if the trailer is anything to go by, it'll be chock-full of trademark Bruce Willis explodey-ness and Matrix-style jump-fighting, if not anything thematically groundbreaking.

In the movie, Willis plays a cop (surprise!) living in a near-future utopia that is actually more of a dystopia (surprise!), where most people don't ever leave their homes anymore, instead using android surrogates to interact in the outside world while they remain safe and sound. Or so they think — two people die when their surrogates are killed (surprise!), and Bruce has to investigate. Naturally, his own surrogate and its terrible, terrible hair are destroyed early on (and then crucified), which forces him to work out in the open clad in nothing but his sweet, bald, oh-so-vulnerable flesh.

Presumably because most of the characters are in their surrogate bodies, the action in the trailer featured lots of satisfying bits like people getting crumpled in car crashes, blown open and bleeding green robo-blood, and jumping very high and far, à la The Matrix and every movie starring Jet Li. There's a fight in a junkyard! And Willis's character isn't named John McClane, of course, but as best we can tell, he is essentially John McClane. Nothing wrong with that!

(At the end of the trailer screening, a long line of models marched across the stage and then into the audience to pass out cards advertising the movie's website. The lights were off for most of this, but I assume the models — I guess they were supposed to represent surrogates? — were attractive.)

Basically, Surrogates looks like one of those SF movies that purports to deal with weighty themes — in this case, how technology separates us from our humanity — but is actually a vehicle for a major action star to get shot at and blown up, and shoot at and blow up even more shit in his own turn, against a gleamy/gritty backdrop (see also The Sixth Day, Minority Report, I, Robot, etc.). It would be a surprise if the film offered anything especially revelatory in this regard; whether the story is solid is another question — one we'll have to wait until September 25, when the movie is released, to answer.

(We also got a look at Pixar's Up, the whimsical tale of an old man and a Cub Scout stowaway who travel to South America in a flying house. The clips were as reliably funny and well crafted as everything Pixar puts out. Toy Story 3 and Cars 2 are coming along nicely, according to Up director Pete Docter, but, sadly, nothing happening yet in the way of an Incredibles sequel.)