surrogates movie has no substitute for the modern house

I just got around to watching last summers science fiction movie Surrogates. Its set in a near future where everything looks familiar, buildings, cars, yet the technology is clearly miles ahead of today. People stay home and go out in to the world via a robotic "surrogate" that they control from a virtual reality chair in their home. So while we get old and fat our robots remain vital and young. Whether or not that sounds good or bad to you, one thing that seems sure is that everybody in this near future lives in a cool modern home. Spoilers below if you have not watched the movie.
surrogates 1
This is the apartment of a minor character in the movie. Quite unexpected when they enter from the hallway to reveal this soaring two story modern dwelling.
surrogates 2
And here is the apartment of one of the main characters. I loved the look and feel of this place. Concrete waffle slab ceilings, and brick walls in the living room.
surrogates 3
And later on a brief scene showed an exterior view of the home of one of the other main characters. A night scene but clearly a modern house.
In many scenes of this movie they went to great lengths to show us that cities and buildings were still the same familiar places. Yet the protagonists all had modern dwellings, and strangely enough the antagonist as it turns out lived in a traditional dwelling. Interesting. Clearly deliberate. The modern settings were used here to distinguish the roles of these characters just like bad cowboys had black hats and good cowboys had white hats. So you have to wonder why the good guys got the modern dwellings? Obviously the film makers know which kind of house will make the protagonist appear cool, progressive, informed, admirable. And they count on us understanding that as well. Since we all have this figured out so well, then when is the housing industry going to get the message. HELLO!!


  1. Anonymous11/19/2010

    In my experience, this seems directly opposite of the typical movie roles, where the bad guys always seem to have the cool, modern architecture and the good guys have the traditional stuff.

  2. I'd love examples. I think it depends on the type of modern - in bond films the villains often had pop modern settings, but that may have been more a function of the era they were made.