REVIEW: TOTAL RECALL
SYNOPSIS: Total Recall is an action thriller about reality and memory, inspired anew by the famous short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he's got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) whom he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life - real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) – there is no one Quaid can trust, except possibly a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) working for the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy). The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.
Doug Quaid: If I'm not me, then who the hell am I?
I do RECALL the original version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. You had to know I was going to do that. Anyway, I have only fond memories of watching that movie. It was an interesting concept starring a literally larger than life actor. It was great fun. Needless to say that when I heard of a remake being done, I was immediately intrigued. But Colin Farrell taking the lead role gave me initial skepticism. Having Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel in supporting roles totally relieved my doubt. Not that Colin is incapable, it’s just that those are difficult shoes to fill. The truth of the matter is, he did okay. Jessica did pretty good too. The most surprising performance comes from Kate in an antagonist role. Believe it or not, she was quite menacing and evil, something we are not accustomed to from her and she pulled it off nicely. She was really kicking ass. All three of these stars are no strangers to action films so they fit right in beautifully. And really what this movie boils down to is action, sci-fi, and special effects. The action is non-stop, the sci-fi is futuristic and beyond high-tech, and the special effects are super. The imagination visible throughout the film is mind boggling. It is visually stunning with some incredible sets. It will remind you a lot of Blade Runner combined with Fifth Element.
For those of you that remember the original well, this one has a different story but with a similar plot. Obviously this one is a more modern take on an interesting concept and less corny too. I mean if you see the original today, it might seem a little corny. But throughout this version, you will see signs of how it remains true to the original and I for one can appreciate that. Where it deviates story wise, however, actually weakens it. This story might be more believable while the original is more exciting. Exciting can beat out believable in this genre any day. For example, the climax in the original is more thrilling than this one. This one is almost anti-climactic and a little convoluted. I am a fan of Len Wiseman’s work. The work he did with the Underworld franchise is pretty darn good and he did an excellent job directing Live Free or Die Hard. This is not his best work but it falls nicely and appropriately in his repertoire. It does do the original some justice but it could have been better. It is an enjoyable action flick but you need to take it at face value.
By Cine Marcos
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