Total Recall (2012)
Directed by Len Wiseman
Starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel
I considered doing a comparison of the original Total Recall to the remake, but since I am too lazy and I feel like there are a lot of comparisons being done, I am going to review it as a standalone film. Having never seen the movie, I didn’t have much to go off of, but after what I just witnessed, I would say that this movie was like a twisted combination of Blade Runner and a bad sci-fi video game. That’s not to say the movie itself was bad, because I felt on a whole that it was pretty entertaining, but certainly doesn’t require too much work to figure out. I’ll try to keep this as spoiler free as I can, however one can surmise the plot judging by the trailer, so I don’t think it’ll be a big problem.
So let’s talk about the plot. I didn’t really have a problem with it, though that is because it reminded me of every other science fiction movie/tv show/book out there. Classic dystopian world, ruled by a Big Brother-esque figure, large social class struggles, unexplained technology that seems basically impossible, a brooding protagonist who has the weight of the world on his shoulders, along with a few others that I fear might be verging into spoiler-ville, but safe to say it’s filled with clichés. And while I will say that it was predictable, the story was executed in a clean timeline with little disruptions to confuse the audience, like unnecessary flashbacks or vapid philosophical dialogue. The pacing really helped keep the watcher on their toes and never really left me feeling bored.
Despite the stereotypes, the actors did a great job of portraying their characters, which helped boost what could have been a flop. Kate Beckinsale played a totally mesmerizing Lori Quaid, and I felt she really stole the show. I know a lot of times actresses get put into a niche that they can’t seem to get out of, and for a long time I worried that Kate would be stuffed in the same slot and forgotten, but I have to hand it to her in this movie, she kept me entertained. Colin Farrell did a good enough job as Hauser, though his familiar story has been told so many times by other characters that I felt myself a little uninterested in what actually happened to the hero. Jessica Biel managed to surprise me, since I seem to have some unreasonable hate for her (probably because of her 7th Heaven days). Her character Melinda, though always tearful and watery eyed actually managed to tug at the romantic in me, though not hard enough for me to care that much. However, all three main actors did really well with what they were given. Awesome shout-outs go to Bill Nighy, who I love no matter what role he’s in; Bryan Cranston, I have been watching Breaking Bad all day, so for a moment I thought I was hallucinating Walter White on the screen, but he did a kickass job playing the evil chancellor; and of course a bleach blonde John Cho, who despite his tiny appearance still managed to make me smile.
The best part of this movie was by far the graphics. The action was intense, though nothing ground breaking, but the graphics were beautifully done. Hat’s off to the CGI team that probably spent a mind numbing amount of time doing this. From the beautiful dystopian scenery to the close up intricacies of a degenerate Australian colony, I loved picking apart little things I saw in the backgrounds that I felt were just so well done.
Overall, not a bad movie, worth the money to see on the big screen because I don’t think that kind of action should be put on a small one, however if you’re not willing to shell out the cash, it’s not a huge loss. Lovers of the original have told me that it was worth it, I guess I’m just going to have to find a copy of it with the Govenator and see for myself. I’d give this movie a C+.
(Also apparently Ethan Hawke was in this? Though I have a pretty good eye for faces, and I wasn’t able to spot him.)