Fond memories of Paul Verhoeven's "Total Recall" kept coming back while watching this remake. Arnold Schwarzenegger's screen presence was also an added plus in the 1990 film, as well as the one-liners, Mars and of course heaps of bloody violence. If you've seen the original, then you know how it goes.
Len Wiseman's remake of the same name replaces Arnold with Colin Farrell, in his first lead action role in years, while eliminating Mars as the backdrop of the action and replacing it with an overpopulated Earth where transportation from one corner to another occurs, literally, straight through the center of the earth. The rugged subterranean mazes of the red planet is replaced with dizzying skyscrapers and lots of sleek, flying cars, not unlike Philip K. Dick's own "Blade Runner" and "Minority Report".
Farrell can act and is definitely a strong action lead and it shows here, as per the beautiful ladies Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel who both show off brawn over beauty here. Alas, everything is taken way too seriously in this version. I have fonder memories of the Verhoeven/Arnold version where one-liners come post-Arnie-kill. Gone. Certain characters are trimmed or even cut completely from the original. Bryan Cranston's Cohaagen makes me miss Ronny Cox even more, and Bill Nighy's resistance leader doesn't stand out compared to the 1990 film. The best thing the screenwriters did is to combine Sharon Stone's and Michael Ironside's characters from the 1990 film into one, and as portrayed by Kate Beckinsale, she kicks serious ass here.
The script is a near complete rehash of the original, save for the setting and the final act of the film. The scene where Bokeem Woodbine's character tries to convince Quaid (Farrell) where he's still in a dream is certainly a standout scene which was very well done. Alas, the majority of the movie is laced with action sequences and sensational special effects (seriously, this is CGI porn) that may get this film a nomination for Best Visual Effects this year. No kidding. While the editing is fast-paced and the cinematography sleek (with a little too much lens flare ala J. J. Abrams), the music score by Harry Gregson- Williams was kind of bland in my opinion. It was just there, does its job, and I didn't care. Where's Marco Beltrami; or even for that matter his legendary mentor, the late, great Jerry Goldsmith when you need them?
Director Wiseman has a knack for action sequences ("Underworld", "Die Hard 4") and it shows aplenty here. Sadly the script could've been a whole lot better, but then again, if they had set it on Mars it would've been a shot-for-shot remake with better characters, but still I would've loved to see action on the Red planet once again. The PG-13 rating is justified, and there are indeed little homages to the original, but overall this remake is nothing more than a fast-paced, popcorn munching good waste of time, with some really nice CGI to chew on.
However, I'd rather watch the old one again. Arnie has a much stronger screen presence than Farrell and it is much more ambitious and has more heart than this sleeker, newer one.
Overall rating: 53%
Action / Adventure
Action / Adventure
In the near future Earth almost uninhabitable, only two territories remain, The United Federation of Britain or UFB, and the Colony. The UFB has been trying to make the Colony part of them but a group led by a man named Matthias and rumor is that a UFB security man, Hauser is helping them but word is that he is dead. Douglas Quaid, a man who lives in the Colony who is married to Lori, has been having nightmares of him being in some kind of battle with another woman, that ends with him getting captured. He decides to go to Rekall, a place where a person can experience something by having it implanted in his mind. When the memory he chooses is about to be implanted, it is detected that he has memories of being a spy, that's when they pull guns on him but some UFB security people show up and shoot up the place. Quaid goes home and tells Lori what happened, that's when she tries to kill him. He asks her why is she trying to kill him, she tells him that she's not his wife, she's UFB security and she was assigned to keep an eye on him 6 weeks ago. Now he's marked to termination. He runs that's when someone calls him on his implanted phone who concerned that the call may be traced just gives him enough info for him to know that he has to go to the Colony and when he arrives he is chased by UFB security but is saved by the woman in his dreams. She says she's Melina and that what he's been dreaming are not dreams but actual experiences. He then goes to his "apartment" where he finds a recording he made where in he learns the truth.
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November 9, 2012 at 9:09 pm