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Total Recall

Posted on the 02 August 2012 by Kaiser31083 @andythemovieguy
Total Recall At the end of the 21st Century due to nuclear warfare, the only livable regions of the planet Earth have been reduced to the British Isles and Australia, which are being ruled over by the ruthless Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) who is fighting a resistance being led by the influential Matthias (Bill Nighy). Meanwhile a laconic factory worker (Colin Farrell) dreams of a more exciting life and may have found the answer to his wishes in the form of Rekal, a memory implant company. Soon, it appears that the man's life may be interminably more engaging than he ever suspected, and finds himself a key player in the resistance movement, hunted by Cohagen's forces and his own operative wife (Kate Beckinsale). "Total Recall" is a sleepy, surprisingly bloodless (with much of the action transplanted from Mars to Earth), and mostly unnecessary remake of Paul Verhoeven's 1990 film. Director Len Wiseman and his writers again work from Philip K. Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale", which to my understanding is only a loose inspiration for the films, and my question is why wouldn't they try to take the material in a whole different direction with this new opportunity? The 1990 version depended on the audience not knowing exactly what was going on with the lead characters mind frame. Here that effect is almost entirely lost, and while some interest is held during the first hour, the second hour plays as a nonstop, wearisome, and uninspired shootout. I liked Colin Farrell's take on the character, and he is more believable as an everyman than Arnold was, but not so much when it comes to the superspy stuff. The roles played by Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside have been merged into the Beckinsale character, which plays like an irritating female Terminator, and the result is the loss of two compelling characters. Nighy is grossly underused and personally I don't feel Cranston has the chops to handle these malevolent roles he is routinely assigned. Jessica Biel is probably the most successful in the cast, playing the young woman who helps Farrell elude capture. There was much hubbub over the recent Spider-Man reboot after only a five year hiatus (btw wasn't "Batman Begins" rebooted after eight years?) but no one seems to mind much about these 80s movie remakes. "Total Recall" brings nothing new to the table and viewers may be recalling the more enjoyable memory of the superior original while watching this banal retread.

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