Friday, August 3, 2012

Review: Total Recall [2012]


Background:
Release Date: 2 August 2012 (Malaysia), 3 August 2012 (USA)
Directed By: Len Wiseman
Written By: Kurt Wimmer, Mark BomBack, Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Canston, Bookem Woodbine, Bill Nighy
Duration: 118 minutes
In A Nutshell:
It is the future and as a result of chemical wars the earth is an unsafe to habit except for two regions, the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the Colony (formely known as Australia). People travel between these two regions via a transportation channel which runs through the center of the earth and is known as The Fall. Douglas Quaid (played by Colin Farrell) works in The Fall as a factory worker and is also married to a beautiful wife named Lori (played by Kate Beckinsale). Quaid is unsatisfied with his life and goes to Rekall, a company that implants artificial memories into its customers. At Rekall, he finds out that he is a secret agent in real life and is hunted down. While escaping, he bumps into the mysterious woman (played by Jessica Biel) who keeps appearing in his nightmares.
Thumbs Up:
+ Pretty cool hand-to-hand combat scenes
Thumbs Down:
- The story-telling is sometimes too rushed while other times too slow
- The tone of the movie is guilty of being too serious and humourless
- Rather bland dialogue
- For people who have seen the original 1990 movie, they are even more flaws to this current version


The Verdict Is In:
Having just last week re-watch and subsequently review the original Total Recall [1990] movie directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was curios to see how this current version would turn out. I expected an improvement on the special effects but kind of felt that the story would be about the same. Sure enough the effects were good but everything else just pales in comparison. I've seen plenty of remakes, and I know a film should be judged solely by itself, but this is one movie that I just couldn't shake the feeling to juxtapose it to its predecessor. Everything great about Paul Verhoeven's version is gone. The shocks and twists. The WTF/OMG moments that genuinely astound. The wisecracking quotes. And most importantly the sense of fun. Oh, I almost forgot. The three-boob hooker is still there, but she keeps her clothes on. There's also an absent of playful flirting from the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale unlike what Sharon Stone used to do back in the original. Now where's the fun in that?


The hand-to-hand combats were very well done but overall I found this film rather dull and uninspiring. Without the big budget, and if this wasn't a re-make, the movie could very well be a direct-to-video release. Those who haven't seen the original are better off seeing that one instead. I know, another mention of the original. But its like those movies that has interesting elements but fail in its execution. You're left with a sense of what it could have been. This time we know how it could have been better, and its was released in 1990.
Rating:
5 out of 10

13 comments:

  1. Thank for reviweing this and helping me save money this weekend. I should buy you a beer for this kind of public service. It's too bad they went the whole PG-13 route with this because this could have been fun as an R rated movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Obviously they made it PG-13 to make more money, but in the long term no one will remember this version.

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  2. aku juga kecewa yg resistance sangat lemah..sangat nothing..xyah ada pon xpa..hampeh. ingat lagi masa leader resistance dulu nak mati terpanggil2 arnie *quaid quaid* haunting..now that's a classic

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    Replies
    1. tah.. resistance macam x wujud langsung... review ko pon betul, Jessica Biel mcm tido jerh..

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  3. The film looked like absolute shit from the trailer alone and I'm not surprised it's not good. The original is fun and replacing Stone with someone like Beckinsale is just, well, not going to work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beckinsale has a bigger role and more screen time here, but quality trumps quantity... Sharon Stone was way better.

      Delete
  4. Despite you not really liking it, I know I'm going to end up seeing this. Mostly because I'm stupid.

    But, on the other hand, I'm throwing the Liebster award your way, if someone already hasn't gotten to you. So maybe there's hope for me yet.

    Details are on my site!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I'll probably post my answers on Monday.

      Delete
  5. I don't think this is my cup of tea. But thanks Asrap for the info! By the way, I picked you to be one of the winners of Liebster blog award. Check it out :) http://www.inspired-ground.com/liebster-blog-award-2/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This version of the film isn't that good anyway, so you're not missing out on much.

      Thanks for the award. I'm in the middle of answering questions for the post. I'll probably only finish on Monday though.

      Delete
  6. I knew it would be bad but I figured it would suffice for a few hours of mindless entertainment.

    It even failed there :-/ the characters were so bland and poorly constructed that I had zero interest in what little story there was! And the over-use of green screen made the action completely uninteresting to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, as I wrote in my review of the original film, the old-school special effects robotics, puppetry, and make-up there are actually refreshing nowadays.

      Delete
    2. You'd think filmmakers would learn from George Lucas' mistakes! Audiences prefer real, gritty scenery (even if it's not "perfect"/Yoda looks like a puppet) to plastic and cartoony CGI. We don't go to the movies to watch video games.

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