***A double review from Sharon and Katie***
Total Recall directed by Len Wiseman and staring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel is a remake to 1990 SciFi hit of the same name. While the effects and action are no doubt amazing the story itself gets drowned out by all the hoopla.
Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he's got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life - real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police - controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world - Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen.
My first thought on this film is; I've seen it before and frankly better. Inception comes to mind and perhaps Blade Runner or 5th Element. If you're going to base a movie on the layers of reality or perceived reality you've to got bring something fresh, original and deliver it all in a different way. Unfortunately the storyline here gets a major back seat to the fight scenes with almost a video-game feel. Sharon Stone played the original bad girl in the 1990 film and as a fan of Kate I was really excited to see what she'd bring to the table. Again and this is with deep regret I have to say it felt like she was tapping into her Underworld character, Selene, with all the running and jumping plus she does a little of her signature landing moves! That's Underworld stuff girl not to be shared or duplicated! Yes, I'm still a fan of hers and yes she can act her skinny booty off but in this role it was wash rinse repeat.
Colin I think had the heaviest role to fill as Douglas Quaid which was originally played by my ex-Gov-a-na-tor Arnold. Colin starts things out on a very promising foot but as we pick up steam and hit the halfway mark it all starts to fall apart. He spends so much time running and jumping you have to wonder if he's doing a runathon for a local school or something. (PS so glad I didn't' sponsor him cause I would be broke!) All in all the guys still super sexy on screen, looks great with his shirt off, and can hold a scene with his muscles alone I love him but was he as good as Arnold...no not really.
The film as a whole is very flashy for the eye but really what this all lacked was a solid script with smooth transitions from scene to scene. Very choppy in areas that needed a little more segway as we start into the next chapters. For me the best parts of the film happened early and happened quickly. After the midway point I lost some interest and it just got worse from there. A bunch of plot holes as we reach the climatic ending and all the so called "revelations" are brought to light. I talk often about a slow build in films, reaching a climatic ending as our story takes the viewer on a journey. This would be a really great case in point for anyone who wonders what I mean when a movie lacks in the fundamental department.
The best scene for me takes place in a hotel lobby with Colin facing off in a gunfight with his best friend. What's real and what's dream adding in how far will one go to manipulate...great stuff here but not enough to hold the film. A couple classic gems from the original pop up in the remake but let it be known this is by far a very different film and should be judged as such.
Getting 2 and 1/2 'my wife's trying to kill me' sheep
Edited by: Marc Savage
Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Len Wiseman
Written By: Kurt Wimmer
In Theaters: Aug 3, 2012 Wide
I saw the original Total Recall and liked it, but that was along time ago and I don’t remember many details other than the bad acting. I was thoroughly entertained by Colin Farrell… I mean Total Recall. I liked the new twist on the original. In this version, Chemical Warfare destroyed most of the inhabitable space on Earth and the world’s population is now divided into two nations who are struggling for dominance. Space is limited and, wouldn’t you know it, the British want to invade The Colony (Australia) and wipe out everyone there to make more room for them. People travel between the two nations via “The Fall”, basically an enormous elevator that goes through the center of the Earth. I thought this was pretty freaking cool.
There were tons of in your face action scenes, but sometimes they did last a little too long. I think the movie should have been 30 minutes shorter. Colin was great to look at, but Kate Beckinsale was kick ass! I am not a Jessica Biel fan and she paled in comparison to Kate, but it was cool to see an action movie with two strong female characters.
The special effects were top dollar and there were a few fun nods to the original film, but I must admit it seemed like the film-makers put1 cup of Blade Runner, ½ cup of I, Robot, ½ cup of Total Recall and a pinch of Revolutionary War history in a blender. Even so, I had fun watching. If you area die hard action movie fan, then this will be worth your money. If you go expecting the original, you better rent.
4 “piano playing” Sheep
Edited by: Marc Savage