Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall is so fresh in my memory, despite the movie being 23 years old. It is a popular, successful science fiction movie with Arnie at his peak. Why then would anyone want to remake the movie? Not reboot but remake the same story with some changes here and there and updating the special effects which is 22 years old! The last reason is the only one that makes sense to me after watching the movie this rainy Saturday afternoon. While I am impressed by the awesome special effects, the movie as a whole doesn’t do much to improve on the original story wise. It offers nothing new. Directed by Len Wiseman and written by Mark Bomback,  James Vanderbilt, and Kurt Wimmer the movie stars Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel,  Bryan Cranston, Bokeem Woodbine. John Cho, Ethan Hawke and Bill Nighy have minor appearances.

If you have seen the original movie, except for the fact that we don’t see Mars anywhere, the movie is about the same. It’s like looking at fraternal twins; yeah there are some changes to the whole package but you see the resemblance. In a dystopian future after chemical warfare devastate earth only two habitable lands remain – the United Federation of Britain and the Colony (Australia). Many residents of the Colony travel to the UFB to work in their factories via “the Fall”, a gravity elevator, which travels through the Earth. A Resistance operating in the UFB seeks to improve life in the Colony. he film centers upon an ordinary factory worker who accidentally discovers that his current life is a fabrication predicated upon false memories implanted into his brain by the government. Ensuing events leave no room for doubt that his true identity is that of a highly-trained secret agent. He then follows a trail of clues to gradually recover more suppressed memories and reassumes his original vocation with renewed dedication.

So like I said earlier the special effects and sets are awesome. I really like the overall look of the film. The action sequences are also extremely well done. Jessica Biel & Kate Beckinsale – yum double treat! You get, new for the story, robotic soldiers which look mean and awesome. The head villain Chancellor Vilos Cohaagen, played by Bryan Cranston, is unconvincing in his evilness and also him fighting with Doug Quaid/Carl Hauser looks like a huge mismatch. The Michael Ironside character is hugely missed in this film and his absence makes Beckinsale’s Lori have to play faking wife and assassin at the same time, which she does well enough but the absence of an Ironside is felt. Which brings me to the choice of lead – Ethan Hawke has a cameo as Quias/Hauser before plastic surgery changed him to look like the movie’s hero Colin Farrell. I just can’t stand him and his acting and the only reason I watched this movie is because of the remake factor. He is a poor substitute for Arnold Schwarzenegger (who can barely act but is a physical presence). I read that Michael Fassbender was on the sort list to play the role and felt he would have done a much better job. But then anyone for me would have done a better job than Farrell.

7 outta 10!

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