Director: Len Wiseman
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston
Run Time: 118 Minutes
Do you ever feel as if Hollywood is jumping the gun on remakes of movies? I mean, sometimes I hear of a remake, like Total Recall, and think the original hit the screen just yesterday. I have to remind myself that I’m not young anymore, and it’s been over twenty years since Schwarzenegger was desperate to get to Mars.
Total Recall is based on a short story by Phillip K. Dick called, "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.” After watching Wiseman’s adaptation, I’m convinced that I need to read that story, because it so dissimilar to the Verhoeven/Schwarzenegger version.
I was totally engrossed in this film from the beginning. It’s visually gritty with superb special effects. The entire story takes place on earth and workers travel between The Colony (Australia) to The United Federation of Britain through the core of the earth on a transport called, ‘The Fall.’
Douglas Quaid (Farrell) feels something is missing from his life and decides to take a vacation of sorts. A company called Rekall implants memories into people’s minds making them believe they’ve just experienced a wonderful vacation. Quaid is different though. Someone has already tampered with his mind.
What follows is a thrill ride in which Quaid struggles with his identity and tries to beat the bad guys at their own game. The ride is fun, but the end disappoints. All of the work they put into showing us the character and building tension is for nothing. It’s cliché and falls flat.
I have mixed feelings about the acting. Farrell and Beckinsale are phenomenal. With facial expressions and body language Farrell communicates the emotional upheaval of his character. Beckinsale disappeared into her character. We’ve seen her play a badass before, but in this role she’s downright scary. The big disappointment was Bryan Cranston. I don’t know if he was miscast or if he wasn’t giving it 100%, but his presence on the screen didn’t help the film at all.
If you’ve avoided this movie because you don’t want to compare it to the original, I urge you to give it a try. It has a few things that are the same, but for the most part it’s a very different story. It’s worth watching at least once. Repeated viewings aren’t in my future, but I’m gad I finally watched it.
Reviewer's Rating: 3