Total Recall Reviews
The action should keep you entertained to a degree but if your looking for more then you'll be sorely disappointed.
I've never seen the original Total Recall for the simple fact that I don't care for Arnold. I know, shocking. But maybe if I get some replys on how great it is I might just change my mind and give it a shot.
It was the perfect film for a rainy stormy night that I am having. Action packed, good plot, and some nice eye candy. I'd see it again."
An entire cast of boring generic characters (surprisingly, considering the actors involved). No chemistry to speak of and just some of the worst dialogue I've ever seen. The complete lack of charm/wit just doesn't help as we're served a main course of sub-par espionage.
It needed a compelling protagonist (Minority Report) or a bigger play on the whole mind-fuck aspect that kept us second guessing the whole reality of the situation (Inception) or just better humor so it wouldn't take itself so damn seriously (The your wife joke? Not funny the first time, won't be the next 3 times)
Seriously though, I wish there was a concept art book I could buy for the film. Loved the look of the slums and such.
Good movie! Ultimately, Total Recall 2012 is one big amusement park ride. This will probably be enjoyable for anyone in for an average CG action adventure extravaganza and have no knowledge of the fun blockbuster the first one was, but for the rest of us who have seen Paul Verhoeven's version, this one definitely pales in comparison, in story, action and just plain fun. And Arnold Schwarzenegger was in his prime then, with big shoes that didn't get filled this time round.
For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he's got a beautiful wife who 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 as he finds himself on the run from the police.
A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
I totally recall the 1990 movie version of Philip K Dick's short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" as both exciting and entertaining. Arnold Schwarzenegger as manual worker Doug Quiad brought a certain vulnerability to the role as this mountain of man who had no idea what was going on and Dutch director Paul Verhoeven gave a real verve to the whole production. Sadly this remake 22 years later is something of a disappointment, although some critics have been overly harsh. Colin Farrell now in the lead role is a far better actor than Arnie but the pace is so frenetic that he is not given much opportunity to display his thespian talents.
The role of his 'wife' - memorably filled by Sharon Stone in the original - now goes to Kate Beckinsale (wife of director Len Wiseman) and is much expanded from the first outing, so that the part of the rebel agent, originally taken by Rachel Tocotin and now played by Jessica Biel, is rather underwritten. It seems perverse to call a remake derivative, but so much of this version of "Total Recall" reminds one not just of the original film, but of so many other sci-fi movies: the world of the workers looks like "Blade Runner", the flying cars evokes "The Fifth Element", the synthetic troops are retreads of either the Storm Troopers or the clones from "Star Wars" films, even the relentless pursuit by Beckinsale's character echoes Arnie in the first "Terminator" movie. Oddly this work is both too dark, in that there is rarely enough lighting, and not dark enough, in that - unlike the original - there is little ambiguity about whether the whole thing is a dream.
That is probably the only plus point about this new remake that I can give, the visuals. The rain soaked, dark, grimy, oily mechanical looking distopian Earth cities of the future are rendered quite beautifully. Both the 'the United Federation of Britain' and 'the Colony' look fantastic as you sweep across them during the film, not that I was surprised by this of course, it was inevitable that this element would be the films biggest asset.
This old 1990 version of 'Recall' was a loose adaptation of the Dick story, this new version is an even looser version ejecting almost all of the original material. There's no problem using some artistic license sure but why completely change everything?. If you do that's fine but then at least call the film something else, make it an original film stating influences, don't call it a remake/adaptation when its vastly different.
So the plot has almost completely nothing to do with the original Dick story, problem one. Problem two is the fact there isn't really anything new in this film we haven't seen already. You could almost say this film is 'I, Robot 2' or a mix of that film and a lot of 'Minority Report'. Yes the film looks sumptuous but it is your average vision of the future really, hover cars, hover trains, lots of holograms and lots of robots. The only new futuristic element I liked was the 'hand phone' and 'the fall' despite that concept being really quite unworkable in reality (I think!).
Touches on the old Verhoeven classic here and there, some small some in your face (three tits much!). A short plump ugly woman with a bad looking red wig saying she's staying in the 'UFB' for two weeks. This time her head doesn't come off to reveal 'Quaid' which I'm sure your suppose to think hehe. The new version for this trick is neat but not nearly as fun, you could say the same for the whole film really.
Another issue I had was the inclusion of a big robot force. I didn't really like this direction as it touches way too much on previous films as I've mentioned already. I did also get the feeling robots were used so they could have lots of gun battle sequences but without having to show lots of blood and people getting shot. I'm not saying that kind of stuff equals a good film but the 1990 version is famed for its over the top bullet squibs and violence and in retrospect it makes this new film seem very childish (not to mention the old toy merchandise side of it these days).
As for cast its lackluster if you ask me. Farrell does a good job as 'Quaid' yes, you don't need huge muscles to make a film of course but the inclusion of Beckinsale was a mistake though. She does her whole 'Underworld' thing and not much else really plus you know she's in this simply because her husband is directing. The other bad choice was Cranston as 'Cohaagen' who just wasn't threatening enough in any way. He wasn't necessarily bad but he just didn't really give off much of an evil tyrant persona, in no way did he come across as a villain, just a regular futuristic suit.
This film isn't a bad effort I must admit, its not a frame by frame remake which is good but as with many films these days its too late to make an impact, been here and done it. The 1990 version was huge because it was original and boasted awesome violence and that classic Verhoeven black political satire. This looks crisp and impressive but simply can't muster the same punch with either action or cast.
On a final note the 1990 version never really did give away whether it was a dream or not. The fade to white at the end is the only clue to it possibly being a dream. This new film doesn't seem to try for that mystery a tall, its all for one direction.