"Alien" is partly a projected study of the limited, collective human interactions that may occur in a spaceship after an extended period of time and isolation in space, and a perceptive take of the inside of a futuristic, interstellar spacecraft. But, more importantly, it raises questions about our presumed perspectives on the level of human intelligence--are we indubitably as intelligent and exceptional as we think we are? Is technology really a good factor in determining the superiority of one species over another? Is the possibility of an alien, eukaryotic species outsmaneuvering the human race--without using any self-developed, inorganic weapons--in actuality as small as we think it is?
Even if you just want to simply enjoy the movie, and leave all the questions and details for some other time, "Alien" can still provide the entertainment you may be seeking, and likely even surprise you along the way. This is a film that can be as complex, or as simple, as you make it to be.
The plot and characters of this film seem too thick to be handled by Len Wiseman; they "explode" and leave us with dilated, shallow left-overs (excessive number of empty action sequences, little depth to the plot and characters). And the pacing is a bit too fast (and too slow!) to do a movie like "Total Recall" justice; this isn't "Underworld." It just doesn't work to mix Len Wiseman's previous pure-entertainment-oriented, action-thrillers with a deep story that is meant to focus primarily on exploring the concept of dual realities as well as its characters' behaviors under such circumstances. Director Verhoeven's 1990 version does a much better job in blending together the action, the philosophy, the characters, and the plot, forming a much more balanced piece of work. ‚??Total Recall‚?? (1990) succeeds in adequately cross-examining the presumed perceptions of reality while, at the same time, provides the audience with plenty of entertainment--important attributes that its "successor" is too lazy to realize.
In short, "Total Recall" (2012) fails to properly respect its quintessential elements, and falls short of delivering the whole package. It had a lot of potential in cultivating many of its constituents to fruition, especially its plot and characters, but denied them the opportunity to mature and shine.
"Somebody once wrote: 'Hell is the impossibility of reason.' That's what this place feels like: Hell."
"Most come from the end of the line--small towns you never heard of: Pulaski, Tennesse; Brandon, Mississipp; Pork Bend, Utah; Wampum, Pennsylvania. Two years' high school's about it. If they're lucky, a job waiting for them back in a factory. Most have got nothing. They're poor. They're the unwanted. Yet they're fighting for our society and our freedom. It's weird, isn't it? At the bottom of the barrel, and they know it. Maybe that's why they call themselves 'grunts', 'cause a grunt can take it--can take anything."
"I think now, looking back, we did not fight the enemy; we fought ourselves. And the enemy... was in us."