Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Film Review: Total Recall (2012)

The 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger Total Recall film was definitely a childhood favourite...so when I found out there was a remake, I couldn't wait!
Firstly though, the storyline is totally different - which after watching, I didn't mind, but should they really call it a 'remake' then? I mean, where was Mars? Anyway, regardless of that, I still really enjoyed the film!! I loved the distopian look of The Colony which was an amalgamation of Soho (London), Steampunk references and many other influences! This was probably the only thing I could relate with the original Total Recall (although I'm not 100% certain - I think I need to watch it again!) ..as well as the scene where Colin Farrell's character Douglas Quaid uses a temporary cloning device (is this what it's called?) to make him look like someone else. I remember this scene in the 1990 version very well...definitely one of my favourites!
So, just to briefly explain, Quaid is just a 'normal' guy who experiences vivid dreams and feels that he should be doing something else with his life ... so he visits 'Rekall' which is a place to gain artificial memories. Before doing this though, a test is carried out to ensure that the artificial memory does not conflict with real memories - to which at this point, it is found out that Quaid is not who he says he is - which he doesn't remember. 
A team of gunmen then burst in but Quaid (to his surprise) is able to avoid being shot and take them all down! He is of course totally freaking out and sets out to investigate the truth. Later on in the story, there is a bit of a twist (as always) which I have to admit came as a surprise to me...so I was quite impressed with this slightly deeper storyline ...and that it wasn't just all action, action, action! However, I didn't feel that it was unique enough for me to remember - which is how I feel about the original...but I don't know if I remember it because Arnold Schwarzenegger is a unique actor himself!
Colin Farrell was great, I'm always a little unsure about his acting skills, but they were believable in this film and his action scenes looked good. 
Ever since the Underworld films, I can admit I am a little bit of a 'fan' of Kate Beckinsale!  She gets a lot of grief for being 'bland' but I totally support what she does now as most of the time, I'm sure I am only seeing her as Selene (from Underworld)...regardless of what film she is in! Also, the funny thing about Total Recall is that Bill Nighy has a bit of an appearance, so that just made it even more confusing... (as he is one of the Vampire Elders from Underworld, and also a father figure to Kate Beckinsale's character)!
Going back to Total Recall, Kate Beckinsale's character Lori was really fun to watch...she was a total bad-ass! However, her character did start to become a little irritating as she just would not stay down! As soon as you thought Quaid was temporarily safe, Lori would be back in the scene, all guns blazing! ...she was around until the very last scene!!! (sorry, little spoiler there, but you shouldn't really be reading reviews if you don't want it to be spoilt!)
If anyone was bland, and after thinking about it a bit more, Jessica Biel's character might have won it. She plays Melina who is supposed to be Quaid's love interest - but there was absolutely NO chemistry between the two at all!! ...and apart from saving Quaid and getting a little in the way every now and again...I don't actually know the purpose of her character. I think there could have been someone much better....and this is also another reason why I'd quite like to watch the 1990 version again.
Overall, an enjoyable film with good action scenes but I don't think it lives up to the original...I almost feel that this film is overly 'Hollywoodified'...and may have benefited from being a little more edgy or 'indie' looking.
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