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Monday, August 13, 2012

[5.50/10] Total Recall (2012)


Total Recall (2012)

Brief review: A remake of 1990 sci-fi movie of the same name, "Total Recall" is "Underworld 1&2" director Len Wiseman's latest project, that manages to impress with its top-notch visuals and high-octane action scenes, but falls short in terms of storytelling, due to a largely sub-par script and lack of creative ideas. A few familiar plot elements aside, the story has nothing to do with the original one, and not in a good way. Obviously Wiseman has decided to exclude the trip to Mars from the story, thinking Mars is 'so 90s', but that's his major mistake. The plotline is not only overly twisty hence confusing, but also hugely unsatisfying and only semi-interesting. At least visually, "Total Recall" has the WOW factor. From the gritty, Asian-influenced production design to the stylish futuristic visuals and eye-popping special effects, everything about this movie is technically marvellous. Wiseman is usually great at shooting action, and "Total Recall" is no exception. There are a couple of Matrix-inspired incredibly well-shot action sequences that will leave you in awe. The cast is well-chosen, but the mediocre script doesn't allow them to shine. Colin Farrell is solid in his role, but his action skills are pretty poor compared to Schwarzenegger's, plus, the on-screen chemistry between him and Jessica Biel is nonexistent. Kate Beckinsale, on the other hand, is not only pure eye-candy, but also an absolute force of nature.

Overall summary: Visually-stupendous and stylishly action-packed, yet surprisingly unimaginative plot-wise, Wiseman's version of "Total Recall" is not a total disaster, but it's totally disappointing, and not as half as memorable as Paul Verhoeven's masterfully-crafted original.

16 comments:

Melissa Bradley said...

I have really been hearing bad things about this. I was a huge fan of the original as well as Phillip K. Dick's short story material "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale." No one has managed to really capture Dick's style onscreen other than Ridley Scott in Blade Runner. Minority Report came close, but they took way too many liberties, changing many key elements.

Solid review, though. And I will see this just for Kate. :)

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Mel, I was excited about this one, not only because I'm a huge fan of the original, but also because I love Wiseman's visual style. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out great. Not at all. There were so many things missing from the story, it wasn't even funny. The visual were outstanding and so was the action and Kate, but that's it.

To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Blade Runner. It was visually AMAZING, yet kind of lackluster.

Minority Report I adored. :)

Rick said...

George, you really do write the best movie reviews on the web. I'm crossing this movie off of my list.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Oh Rick, you're flattering me. :) Thank you so much for the compliment. I'm extremely happy to be a part of your amazing site and I want you to know it.

Don't bother watching this one in the theater. It's just not worth it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I never saw a need for a remake, although Kate almost tempted me to the theater to see it. I'll prepare for great visuals, average story, and awesome Kate on NetFlix.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, I saw it for Kate and her husband's great visual style, but I ended up deeply disappointed. The visuals were amazing though.

Jordan said...

Totally agree with you. I said similar things in my review:

http://www.raths-reviews.com/2012/08/total-recall.html

Feel free to follow me if you would like! I have really been enjoying your blog!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Jordan, I'm glad we agree 100% on this one. I read your review and it's very good. However, I completely disagree about the original. I still find it quite impressive and everything but ridiculous.

I would love to, but I couldn't find the followers gadget on your blog. Where is it? Feel free to follow me as well. :)

Thanks for the comment.

Maurice Mitchell said...

I think there were the beginnings of a great movie Jeremy, but it's one of the worst remakes I've ever seen.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Who the hell is Jeremy? :)

I didn't think it was one of the worst remakes ever, but it was definitely a weak one.

Jordan said...

The Follow tab is on the right side of the main page:

http://www.raths-reviews.com

Thanks! I am most certainly following you already!

As for our disagreement about the original...it's probably because I only saw it for the first time the night before I went to this remake. To me it seems like one of those movies that doesnt age well unless you saw it around the time when it came out. Viewing it for the first time in 2012 made me wonder what all the hoopla was about, but I can see that in 1990 it must have been pretty epic.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Silly me! When you became a follower of my blog I tried to follow back, but the link to your blog didn't appear on your profile, so I couldn't do it.

I finally found your hidden you hidden gadget and now I'm a new follower of you as well. :)

You saw it for the first time the night before you watched the remake? Well, that explains it all. If you have seen it back in 1990 or even 1995... or even 2000 you would have been impressed by it for sure. I though tit aged quite well actually. That's why I still love it. :)

buddy2blogger said...

Nice review, George.

Between this and the equally vapid remake of "Fright Night", Farrell seems to have cornered the classic movies remake market to himself. At least, he does not have the ignominy of starring in two costly remakes like Taylor Kitsch!

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

buddy2blogger, thanks.

I gave Fright Night the exact same rating, so I agree with you that both films were vapid to say the least.

I like Taylor Kitsch, but he should pick his films more carefully I think.

Russell Betney said...

What? They don't go to Mars?! What's the point in that? I didn't see the point in a remake, and would only go to see it if I was REALLY bored! I think your review encapsulates exactly what I thought from the trailer.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Russ, tell me about it... I was so disappointed by the lack of Mars, and I couldn't believe they 'kicked it out' of the story. Still watchable though.