Total Recall

Cert: 12A Runtime: 118 mins Director: Len Wiseman  Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy and Bryan Cranston

You’re going to wish you had three hands

So yeah why remake a movie that was made 21 years ago? It really doesn’t make sense. In the future, the world has been ravaged by the inevitable nuclear war. As a result, only two countries remain: The United Federation of Britain which consists of a chunk of Western Europe and The Colony, formerly known as Australia. Each day, lower income workers from The Colony travel through the earth’s core in a super subway known as The Fall to work in the UFB. Like many of his contemporaries, Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) is unhappy with the life he shares with his wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsale). On a whim, Doug pays a visit to Rekall, a company that inserts memories into the brain, giving one the feeling of having done something fun, adventurous, or dangerous at a fraction of the cost. But when Doug is strapped into a chair, his real memories are accessed and a host of UFB troops besiege him, claiming that he is a spy. His reflexes take over and he quickly dispatches the troops in a manner that he would have never dreamed possible. Forced to go on the run to discover the truth about his identity, Doug comes in contact with Melina (Jessica Biel), an old friend who insists that he plays a vital role in the fight between the UFB’s Chancellor Cohaggen (Bryan Cranston) and the rebels from the colony.

The story itself was rather weak. A rather large amount of video games implement the same style store, Far Cry 2 serves as a good example, so therefore the plot and storytelling is nothing new. Basically mirroring the 90′s movie of the same name, it is there simply to defend the actions of everyone in the film and move the story and characters along.The graphics, on the other hand, were quite good. I’d even go as far as to say exceptional. What I was truly in awe of was the architecture of the film: the way the buildings formed during chase scenes, the way they floated above ground, and the futuristic outlay of the whole Total Recall world. Everything was fit together perfectly, like a jigsaw puzzle without any missing pieces. The textures and the CGI used for the “car” chase scenes are both breathtaking, often moving from one scene into another fluidly and without miscues or missteps. This, along with the seemingly never endless bevy of cool and visionary electronics, make this movie a marvel to watch. Everything that you can possibly think of (well, almost everything) is present in the Total Recall world, face changers and hand phones to name a few. These little wonders make the movie fun to watch and will have you saying “Wow, that’s cool!” more than once or twice.Casting gets a solid B+ from me.

No amazing actors/actresses and certainly not ones worthy of an Oscar-nominating performance. Kate Beckinsale holds her own with her sexy English accent, Jessica Biel plays a good yang to Farrell’s ying, and the terminal one mentioned does a good job as Douglas Quaid, making a good, albeit sudden, transition from factory worker to historic badass. The supporting cast is simply okay, with Davey Jones making a brief appearance.For anyone who hasn’t seen the previews for this film, it’s an actions packed sci-fi flick, with plenty of fighting and shooting throughout. Although this may be a fun outing to the average movie-goer, the ending of the film leaves you with nothing to take forward and nothing to learn from. It’s essentially empty. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, considering Total Recall wasn’t trying to be something more than an action sci-fi; if, on the other hand, it masked its true nature with the desire to be “something more”, then that’s where we would have a problem. Alas, we do not so therefore the empty feeling as you walk out of the theater is easier to deal with.Overall this movie is a good watch for fans of the 90′s flick, as well as for fans of Farrell. Aside from Fright Night, this is one of his best movies of the last decade, and rightfully so.

5.8/10

 

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