Saturday, August 04, 2012

Total Recall (2012)

Tonight I saw Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale.

For a remake, it's not as bad as it could be, but as a stand-alone film it has some flaws.

Colin (Quaid) is a factory worker in a dystopian future who is looking for an escape from his less-than-fulfilling life (though his job seems solid and his wife seems hot, but whatever). He decides to take a risk and go to Rekall, where he can have new memories programmed into his brain. Note: this sequence of the film reminded me more of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind than it did the original Recall, but that moment soon escaped me.

When Quaid goes in for the procedure, hoping to be programmed as a secret agent, all hell breaks loose and his identity is called into question.

From here on out, the film is a roller coaster of storm-trooper-resembling soldiers, deceptive women and Bryan Cranston, who unfortunately can't come close to being as menacing as his Breaking Bad alter ego, Walt.

Is it entertaining? Sure. Farrell is a solid actor (and more believable as a highly intelligent operative than the role's original Arnold S.) and the chemistry he has with Beckinsale is fun to watch.

But for a sci fi movie that clearly maps out what has become of our world, the scenery is pretty unremarkable, and some of the technologies (phones implanted in hands) don't match up with other props (a good old paperback book—which makes us wonder if the Kindle population was also wiped out in the chemical warfare).

Cool to see? Refrigerator photos and notes that are digital (I can't imagine that doesn't already exist) and hovercrafts that rival those from Back to the Future II.

Not so much? Jessica Biel who really doesn't convince the audience of anything. I'm still not sure why she had to be there.

All in all, you could do worse if you're just wanting some action-heavy, pow-wow entertainment, but if you're looking for substance or sci fi innovation, stay home.


1 comment:

Dan O. said...

Good review Tassoula. This film was a whole bunch of fun and even though it was very predictable, I still turned my brain off for a good 2 hours and enjoyed myself. Also, can't go wrong with a cast like Biel, Beckinsale, Farrell, and Cranston, just to name a few.