Action (Sci Fi)
Running Time: 118 minutes
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy
Directed By: Len Wiseman
Rating: 4 out of 10
A factory worker discovers he may be a spy after going to Rekall a place that imbues false memories for fun. He is on the run from the law as he tries to discover the truth about his past.
I have never understood why Colin Farrell is not more of an action star. He has the look and the capability to lead the big budget action movies in the right direction, and should have been the next Cruise or Arnold. After watching this movie crash and burn I finally realize this is not his destiny. He should stick to the indie films like Tigerland and In Bruges which he seems to excel at. The original Total Recall may not be known as a cinematic masterpiece but it certainly is a Sci-Fi favorite of many people. That coupled with trying to recreate a role played by Arnold and you have your work cut out for you. This film crumpled under the intense pressure. Total Recall is the story of Douglas Quaid. He is a factory worker and after visiting a place called Rekall (they implant fake memories for pleasure) he finds himself on the run from the law when it doesn’t go as planned. His memories are in shambles as he may or not be a trained spy.
Just like Douglas Quaid questions his own sanity in this movie, I find myself doing the same thing as I write this. It is not bred from anything medical more how can I not recommend a movie where there is a woman with three breasts in it. The movie starts off with a pretty cool opening scene where Quaid is running from the cops. While the strobe lights in the background may be epilepsy inducing it is a good start and sets the pace of the film. Unfortunately this pace never seems to slow down. There is fast paced and then there is frantic and out of control like this film was. If you have seen the first Total Recall movie you will be pleasantly surprised this story is not scene for scene the same. It pays homage with the odd thing here or there but is its own entity which was the right call. The film races along at a breakneck pace but at least the surrounding scenery is nice while that is happening. This is a visually pleasing film if I can say anything positive about it. The sweeping city, flying cars, and futuristic look make this a good looking movie if not a good movie.
The acting for the most part is either bad or unremarkable. Starting with Douglas Quaid played by Colin Farrell, he has the action chops but does absolutely nothing with the character. Next we have Melina played by Jessica Biel. Talk about doing nothing with the role. Biel could be good and has the right physique for action but it is hard to even remember her in any scene in this movie. The only good acting job in this movie was Lori Quaid played by Kate Beckinsale. She is kind of over the top in her delivery but she dominates the screen during her hand to hand fight scenes. She took her action chops from Underworld and translated it into a decent job with this film. Bryan Cranston and Bill Nighy are in this movie as well if you are fans of theirs.
As the film roles along it is clear that this was an unnecessary remake. It doesn’t really offer anything new on the original and it is like it is asking the viewer to like it for its look instead of substance. Here is what I took from the movie. First, running is the key to escape the law in the future. Second, police will never hit you with bullets no matter how many cops there are shooting or how sophisticated their weapons are. Third, falling 20 feet onto concrete or metal surfaces does not hurt or leave scratches and can be done time and time again. Fourth, if you hope for an escape route it will always appear in the least likely of places, no matter how many times you find yourself at a seemingly dead end. Lastly, robots may be stronger, faster, deadlier, but humans will never lose in a hand to hand fight against them. All of these things added together and just made for a film that was tiring to watch. Because there are so many stupid things happening on screen the story seems to take a backseat to this endless chase of good guys versus bad guys or vice versa. When the end of the film comes, things explode but there will be little interest in it.
Director Len Wiseman seems to like style over substance and keeps delivering films Michael Bay style to the audience. He has put together a nice looking film but really doesn’t do anything to make it special like the first film. The casting, the pacing, just the tone of this film will not capture anyone’s imagination or even attention. He might have left Mars out of this film but he also left out passion. People say Wiseman is ruining our childhood movies one by one. I won’t go that far but he needs to get back to the basics like the first Underworld movie he directed.
I cannot recommend this film as it is one long chase that will leave you tired and disappointed by its anti climactic end.
T Factor + If you do not need a strong story for your movies this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you want this film to be anything like the original then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Fifth Element, Blade Runner.