Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Fun-- Total Recall Review

What do you get when a remake of one of my favorite weird action films is announced and happens to be staring one of my favorite dirty boys? A very happy Shauna!

And that is exactly what I was when I saw the first preview for the remake of Total Recall, staring Colin Farrell. In truth, though I adore the original, I have always thought that this movie was made too early, with concepts that couldn't quite be convincingly conveyed with the technology that was available at the time.

The remake of the film took the story to the next level, and created a dynamic, rich, and visually enthralling world in which the story of Douglas Quaid plays out. For those of you who haven't seen it (what?!?!??!), Quaid is a simple man, in this iteration a factory worker, with a smoking hot wife and a case of itchy feet.

This version of the film is set against the back drop of social unrest, following years when chemical warfare destroyed much of the livable space in the world. In the aftermath, only Great Brittan and Australia, or the Colony, remain available for habitation. Aided by "The Fall," a giant subway-type-thing that transports citizens between The Colony and Brittan, creating a huge divide between the wealthy Brits and the poor Colony folk, of which Quaid is one.

Driven by the belief that he needs something more, Quaid seeks out Rekall, a service provider that will input all kinds of memories into your brain for a truly inexpensive (and short) vacation experience. Quaid seeks out a secret agent memory, only to figure out that he actually is a secret agent. Poor Doug isn't actually Doug, and his entire life is an implant. Now he has to figure out who he is, and why he is vital in the common war between the Brits and the Colony.

Those of you who do know the original film have likely noticed by now that the word "Mars" did not appear anywhere in the above. Yup, this entire film is Earth bound. And though I very much enjoyed it and think it corrected a lot of the cheesy annoyances from the original, I missed Mars. (You'll be thrilled to know that there is a three-breasted prostitute, but I couldn't quite figure out how the heck she fit if there are no mutants.)

There are definite sticky elements of the film. Thirty seconds of dialogue could have easily addressed some plot holes, and Kate Beckinsale's character is a joke. She goes from smoking hot wife to agent hunting Quaid, to leader of the entire police force to leader of an entire military force, leaving me to wonder "does anyone else work there?" She does it well, but there was clearly a reason why Sharon Stone died early on in the original, and that should have stuck.

All in all though, whether or not you've seen the original, the remake is worth your time! I'd go see it in the theater.

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