TOTAL RECALL – Same same, but different!

17 Aug

 

For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he’s got a beautiful wife who he loves, a mind-trip from company Rekall 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 as he finds himself on the run from the police.

 

Now where have we heard that before…ah yes the prosthetics heavy, Arnie grunting, mission to mars 1990’s original….well not quite. 

 

For those who remember the original, the idea of a Total Recall remake could be a complete mistake, as the nostalgic elements that make up the Paul Verhoeven version stay cemented in your mind as the ultimate pre CGI (almost) 2084AD adventure. But fear not, as this version isn’t half bad.

 

Total Recall (2012) stars Colin Farell as Douglas Quaid, Kate Beckinsale as Lori Quaid and Jessica Biel as Melina. Although this film definitely pays homage to the original, it does not frame by frame, line by line, recreate it, thankfully. Infact the great thing about this version is that it manages to blend Total Recall, Blade Runner and Star Wars into a sci-fi cocktail with a little bit of iRobot as the garnish on the glass.

 

Yes there are elements of the setting, particularly towards the beginning, where despite its oriental decoration looks decidedly like the colony you’ve seen before, and within the first twenty minutes a three breasted lady once again graces the screen, but there is no Johnny Cab and everything else is a lot less Fifth Element but a bit more Terminator Salvation in feel.

 

Now how about our Doug Quaid? Well he’s no Arnie, but Colin Farrell is convincing and I’m pleased to say that his accent doesn’t drop once! Farrell really does bring Quaid into the 21st Century with his smoldering looks and buff physique and he convinces the audience expertly that he really does have no clue what is going on and has no idea (for the majority) who to believe. Beckinsale also shows us that her Underworld training has come into good stead as she really does pack a punch, she’s utterly convincing as Lori even if on the odd occasion you do want to tie her hair back so you can see more of her gorgeous face.

 

Now from the gorgeous to the ridiculous, although the casting in general is strong, Biel included, Bill Nighy in just two scenes makes you wonder if there was an element of laziness as Len Wiseman transforms him from Viktor King of the Lycans to Matthias a rather lack lustre Head of the Resistance. Thank goodness he’s only in it for a short time, as I don’t think he, along with the rest of the audience believed a single word he said, or that he would maintain that awful mock American accent for more than two minutes.

 

It’s a shame because that and the fact that the film was just a tad too long made it ever so slightly uncomfortable towards the end, but overall Total Recall is not going down in the history books for anyone to reference as a masterpiece of our times, but it does showcase some flawless action sequences, slick CGI and an action film to enjoy on a Friday night. Definitely worth a watch but not sure if it will be top of your Christmas list.

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