Monday, August 6, 2012

Review: Total Recall

Hobo Dan: Well, shockingly, Total Recall, the remake (or reboot, what are we calling this?) of a terrible 90's science fiction movie was, terrible. Okay it wasn't Abduction or Twilight terrible, but thinking about it has given me an ulcer. I go on and on about the lack of originality in movies these days. Then the opening credits to this film roll and I see it is made by Original Films! Ha! The irony of a remake being produced by a company called Original Films isn't lost on me Hollywood . Further more, did anyone really like the original 1990 Total Recall that much? Did it really warrant a remake? Or is it just fun to spend millions of dollars to make steaming piles of crap and sell it to movie goers at extorted prices?

What can I say, the story was dumb and all over the place, but if you've seen the original you knew that. The acting was dumb and all over the place, but if you've seen the original you knew that. The graphics were sufficiently believable at putting you in a dystopian future, but I was left wanting more. Every time we saw big scene of sprawling city, I wanted it to pan out just a little more and really show me something, but it never did. I guess the cash to generate the extra pixels required came up short. I was left feeling like this world just wasn't real. Multiple levels have been built above London , but how were they just floating there? What holds all this up? Then they have a train line that runs through the center of the earth and takes you to the colony ( Australia ). I know it's science fiction, but I am to believe that after the world was poisoned, nuked and blasted to hell, the two remaining habitable places (England and Australia) had the resources to bore a tunnel through the earth (including the core which is just absurd in its own rights) and run a regular on time train? Ha, the train being on time is laughable.

I am being mean? There were some good parts. For instance... nope can't do it. Don't see this movie, it is bad. The action is boring. The acting is not good. The story is bad, but not bad enough to be funny (which has saved movies in the past). It's just bad. Go see The Dark Knight Rises again. Or rent the original, at least it had Arnold Schwarzenegger in it to laugh at...

The Wife: Well, I thought I enjoyed Total Recall far less than Hobo Dan, but judging from his scathing review above, maybe that isn’t so. First off, I’ve never seen the original Total Recall. So, if you are looking for a comparison from me you are out of luck. Despite not seeing the original, I thought this re-boot of Total Recall looked mildly entertaining. That coupled with my enjoyment of going to the movie theatre led me to see this film. Oh and I suppose Colin Farrell was a contributing factor. Eye candy!

Well, just as I expected, Total Recall was in fact, mildly entertaining at best. I was never really bored during the movie, but I certainly wasn’t blown away. I obviously didn’t expect it to even come close to the same realm of awesomeness that is The Dark Knight Rises, but I would have preferred to see it again as opposed to Total Recall. If you enjoy a sci-fi flick with a bit of cheese on the side mixed in with lots of mediocre but “cool looking” action sequences, then this may be the film for you. As someone who hates films that simply rely on action to carry a plot, Total Recall really wasn’t my cup of tea. Action aside, the plot was all over the place and there appeared to be a few plot holes left unanswered or at least, not logically explained, however that’s to be expected with the premise of a film like Total Recall. I didn’t find it confusing, but I was annoyed. Some elements did catch me by surprise but I still feel like certain plot point actions weren’t properly explained or the least bit believable. Then again, is Total Recall a film that is meant to be realistic? Absolutely not, so I can deal with the expected plot holes. Another irritation was the fact that despite all the non-stop running around/dodging fires/bullets etc., Kate Beckinsale’s character’s hair never once looked messed up and her curls continued to look perfectly done. Her makeup was perfect and she only appeared slightly sweaty once. This sets up poor expectations for the idiot male viewer who thinks all women must look like that in those situations. Kate Beckinsale is beautiful, but in real life her curls would at least appear a bit messy and her makeup smudged if she was running around that much. That’s a fail for you, hair/makeup department. At least they made Jessica Biel’s character look ragged and run-down to show how much “running around/bullet dodging/etc. she did.

Acting-wise, despite Farrell’s charming good looks, he didn’t really impress or disappoint. He was just kind of…there. While I am sure most men enjoyed watching Biel and Beckinsale run around, their acting was mediocre at best. Especially, Biel , who just came off as blah and appeared to seem like she was only doing the movie for a paycheck. I’ve seen all three of these actors do better in other roles so who knows why they came off as so “blah” in Total Recall? Perhaps a bad script? Boredom?

In closing, Total Recall wasn’t awful and as I said above, it was mildly entertaining. Despite the mildly entertaining aspect, I am placing Total Recall as the worst movie I’ve seen in 2012. I find it funny that I saw the best movie of 2012 (Dark Knight Rises) only a couple weeks before (and no, that didn’t affect my judgment whatsoever). Unless you enjoy this type of action jumbled/cheesy film or were a fan of the original, I’d consider waiting to Netflix this one.


  1. As much as I wanted this movie to be good, I knew this was inevitable. As soon as I saw Jessica Biel the first time, it was going to be terrible. She's just an awful actress. I'll Netflix it though because I enjoy me some Colin Farrell!

  2. lol wut? It has Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale in it and you're going to see it for Colin Farrel?