Total Recall

August 23, 2012

Total Recall
"What is real?"

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, Lori (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, Melina (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance, Matthias (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.

I never put a high expectation on a remake movie. And why shouldn't I do the same to Total Recall? Total Recall is a remake based on the same-titled movie in 1990 directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring the talented Arnold Schwarzenegger, as an interpretation of the short story “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" from a sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. I haven't watched the original make, but judging from the movie be titled as "Cult Movie", I certainly sure it was great.

Directed by Len Wiseman, the story centered in Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) who lives in post World War III era that left nothing but only 2 habitable area, which are UFB (United Federation of Britain) and The Colony. He works as a factory worker who commutes (via the highly technology transport named "The Fall") everyday from The Colony to UFB to assemble police robots, then going back again to The Colony, to his lovely wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale). As he grows more curious about his questionable and repeating dream, being a war-like hero and saving a girl (Jessica Biel) from he-has-no-idea danger. In an effort to fulfill his hollow curiousness, he then comes to Rekall, a place where he can 'fantasize' about everything he wish he is/wants to be, as he has a memory implanted in his brain. Long story short, problem strikes as he discovers more about his true self identity, beginning to wonder about what is real and who he really is (or was?). He simply doesn't know that he has already been an instrument to something greater than he expected.

Taking place all in Earth (where the original movie takes on aliens and mars), Total Recall somehow is just another pass-on movie for me; a forgettable movie. Total Recall might seem as another twist like Nolan's Inception (dream after dream, guessing what's real and what's not), but it isn't really like that. It's more like -let's just say a Michael Bay's pieces, offering futuristic action, hand-to-hand combat and butt kicking action (minus the robot of course), without any compelling stories nor well-written scripts. I did expect this movie to be a brain-kicking and overly smart sci-fi movie, but it turns out to be just like that. Offering past-faced plot, hovering right-to-the-left, being far too stretched and overly confusing. On top of that, no necessary twists and/ surprises presented. But, I can't help but mesmerized by the mindblowing visual effects (like The Fall, the skyline, the "hover car" effect) and hell of futuristic gadgets (iPhone no more). The effects visualize Wiseman well; just like his work in Underworld's saga, the dark blues-grey-inky black domination?

The actors are a big dissapointment. Colin Farrell seems confused on what he's doing; he delivers no charisma, moreover power. Beckinsale & Biel just another sugary works, not being the pheromones like Catwoman in TDKR. Bryan Cranston and Bill Nighy are such a waste of talent. Oh man~

Bottom line, I can't agree more by the term of unnecessary remake applied to this movie; cause it certainly is just another cash-grab, another failure remake on the list. Watch it or not? It's on you. But I can't argue with how happy the visual effects made me.

Douglas Quaid : "If I'm not me, then who the hell am I?"


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