Sunday, September 23, 2012

Total Recall (2012)


Total Recall
Year: 2011
Director: Len Wiseman
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy
Before I begin my review….
                I was actually glad that I didn’t see the original Arnie version of Total Recall before I saw this remake. I know, I can’t believe I haven’t seen the original either…don’ t hurt me!
                I am normally one to see the original before the remake, but for some unknown reason I decided not to see the 1990 version. I am glad I didn’t though, because it was refreshing to watch a remade film and not have the comparison there. The people around me who had seen the original informed me that this remake was barely anything like the first and not at all like the first.
                When watching a remade film, it is usually a better thing not to watch the original so you can go in with a clear mind and not be constantly comparing it to the original. It’s not always possible to do this, especially when the original was a fairly successful film and thousands and thousands of people has watched it. Otherwise, making a remake is almost like trying to beat an Olympic record. You are constantly striving to reach higher than the bar already set doing exactly what the person before you has done. However, if you try to be different, it’s a huge risk which can either be a failure or a winner.
                I’m by far not the only person who has believed that good films shouldn’t be remade, go with remaking the bad films. You have more to work on to improve rather than try and live up to the expectations people put on you by comparing it to the original. Personally if I was a film maker, I would have more fun working with creativity to improve on a film and make it into a good film.
                Maybe I should work through the films I have given bad reviews to on here and consider a change in career with one of them.
                Is Colin Farrell the new Arnold Schwarzenegger?
                In a word, no.
                Is he a good action star in his own right when you are not comparing him to Schwarzenegger?
                Is this year’s release of Len Wiseman’s Total Recall a good film in its own right without comparing it to the 1990 Total Recall?
                It’s not all that bad.
                A remake is always going to be compared viciously to the original. If you make it in the same way to the original, you get blasted because it is the same. If you make it differently, you get blasted because it is nothing like it. So how do you win? It’s a tough gig. So the only thing you can do is just hope that people see it as a good film in its own right if you choose to tackle the hard task that is a remake.
                Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is tired of his monotonous life as a factory worker and decides to visit Rekall, a company that creates artificial memories. When he does make his visit, he is accused of being a secret agent and before he knows it, he becomes a wanted man. He finds it incredibly hard to distinguish between what is real and what isn’t, but carefully pieces everything together while he becomes a fugitive.
                Total Recall is not a good remake, but a fairly decent action film. There is plenty of high intensity action and the special effects are very impressive. There is so much to look at on the screen, especially in the outside shots of the United Federation of Britain. It is a great use of CGI and makes the film so visually interesting. The finale is pretty visually spectacular as well. The action sequences are also very well-choreographed.
                The story isn’t half bad, but the script is weak and verbally dull.
                Colin Farrell’s acting isn’t great. Physically he suits the role of Douglas Quaid well as he is a secret agent and looks like he could be just a regular guy with an extraordinary job. Of course in a role like this he isn’t going to be an overly emotional one, but he doesn’t give much at all besides the stunned look.
                Jessica Biel gives a pretty dull performance as Melina and considering she is supposed to have overwhelming feelings for Douglas, one doesn’t see much of this in her performance. It’s all just in the script..
Kate Beckinsale doesn’t do badly as Lori Quaid. She plays the bad girl well and makes a great action girl. However, it is extremely obvious that director, Len Wiseman is her husband, as there is not one shot that she doesn’t look completely stunning.
Visually, Total Recall fulfils its duty as an entertaining action film. The acting and script aren’t of a great standard. The one thing to remember is that this film is not the same film as Schwarzenegger did twelve years ago. There are similarities, but you will enjoy it a lot more if you see it as an action film with ironically the same name.

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