Movie Reviews: Total Recall




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     Sony (1 hr. 58 min)
     A factory worker suspects that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories.
     Colin Ferrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Beil, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, John Cho, Bill Nighy
     PG 13
Bottom Line:

Jonathan McMillan

Twenty-two years ago there was a fairly successful movie that takes place in the not-so-distant dystopian future, where a person can purchase artificial memories as a sort of virtual vacation. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid, a bored blue-collar worker who partakes in the procedure only for things to go predictably wrong. Soon enough Quaid doesn't know what is real and who he can trust.

I’ve gone into so much detail about a movie, originally released a generation ago, because sadly in this era of Hollywood remakes, reboots and re-imaginings, the studio has practically re-released the exact same movie.

From the opening the 2012 version is (with very few un-notable differences) a poor scene for scene imitation of the original, which was really only remarkable for the special effects.

The terrible acting in the original has improved to unremarkable performances from the entire cast. This is especially disappointing in the case of multiple Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston who unbelievably plays the main bad guy.

I'm sure there will be fans of the original that will appreciate what could be interpreted as homages to the iconic images throughout this film, but I doubt they'll be forgiving of the awkward stop-n-go pacing of the plot. It alternates between furious breakneck extended action/fight sequences, to extended snail-paced dialogue exchanges. Its worth noting that the original was so over-the-top with its continuous gratuitous violence that it had to be reedited before receiving a “R” rating, whereas this PG-13 film borders on dull and boring.

Of all the films this year that I was skeptical of (“Battleship,” “Wrath of the Titans,” “Men In Black 3”) this unnecessary remake worried me the least, yet disappointed me the most. You would think that a 2012 movie remaking, what some call a groundbreaking special-effects sci-fi classic, would bring more to the table than the supposed gravity defying properties of a ridiculous blue collar transport called, "The Fall" (It's literally a shaft that passes through the core of the planet). Ultimately this movie is the theatrical equivalent of a bad karaoke performance of a song from the ‘90s like "Margaritaville" or "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls.



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