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Due to a busy schedule, I was only able to catch TOTAL RECALL (2012)
long after its release date and I was a bit surprised that the remake
to one of my favorite Schwarzenegger movies wasn't the total failure I
was expecting. But just because it managed to redeem itself doesn't
mean that the movie was any good; rather, TOTAL RECALL the remake is
one of the most mediocre films I've seen this year.
I wasn't expecting the most original Ridley Scott level sci-fi story from the remake but to call the storyline of the new RECALL as "cliched" is an understatement. The whole movie is a cliché-ridden mess; if you've seen enough sci-fi and action movies, you'll lose track of the number of clichés and tropes you could find if you were to try listing every single one of them down. TOTAL RECALL has every cliché you could think off, from the evil inhuman corporate executive right down to the bomb with a timer. Aside from that, the remake managed to turn the original simple but very entertaining action movie into a flat, cliché-ridden piece that made the fatal mistake of taking itself too seriously (the socio-political themes didn't work out one bit in this movie for me).
The action isn't even worth the price of admission; it feels too watered down(even for a PG-13 movie)to be impressive or even thrilling at the least. Bullets and punches may have been fired and thrown all over the place and car chases are abundant in the movie but never is the adrenaline of any good action movie felt.
The acting, on the other hand, was actually good for an action movie. Colin Ferell plays a believable worker thrown into a complicated situation and for this, TOTAL RECALL gets some points from me. But even if he and the rest of the cast were fairly competent in their acting, the lines that came out of their mouths were anything but that. Good actors can only show their skills well if the script they're working with is good but in this case, good actors were given a mediocre by-the-numbers action movie script. The lines came out as cheesy and forced most of the time (especially the ones that are supposed to make you "think") and almost all of the plot is spoonfed to the audience. You could see the twists coming a mile away since the movie wasn't even intent on keeping them secret; they were just told right off the bat.
Another positive element in the movie was its visualization of the future. While not the most original since almost every future looks like a BLADE RUNNER knock-off these days, at least some of the imagery was striking enough to be remembered. Problem is, though, not all of the scenes were impressive due to the lackluster CGI used. Despite a large budget, most of the scenes looked obviously and painfully fake due to the over-reliance on green-screen effects and the like. Thanks to this, the admittedly interesting future cities aren't engaging at all.
TOTAL RECALL is far from being a total failure but it isn't anything interesting. There are plenty of good sci-fi action movies out there that engage you in their respective universes and make you think/ reflect on certain things while at the same time entertain you with impressive action scenes; this rendition of TOTAL RECALL is not one of those. Watching the new TOTAL RECALL is the equivalent of watching your friend play a video game; it's fun too look at, it looks cool but you don't really care since you're not immersed in the world anyway. It's just eye candy, and not even good or entertaining eye candy at that.
Total Recall was an incredibly good movie when it hit the theaters.
Arnold made it simply awesome, one of his best movies. The hard life on
the Mars colony is colorful and imaginative, it brought something very
original to the SciFi scene.
This remake doesn't bring anything new. Absolutely nothing. Its boring. Plain boring. Visual effects are off the shelf, already seen a thousand times. Characters are unimaginative and uninteresting. The story is weak.
In my opinion this movie is an offense to the original. Its like a bad parody without any purpose.
I remembered the old Total Recall movie with fondness and for that
reason I decided to watch it again before watching the new version.
While the 1990 version was 80% Robocop with a different script and
Conan instead of a robot, the 2012 seems to be 80% Underworld, without
vampires and werewolves, yet, ironically, with robots.
Mars was replaced with Earth. Mutant workers replaced with the population of a controlled colony, the ridiculous scientific ideas in the 1990 version were replaced with other ridiculous scientific ideas, only completely over the top (transporting people from one side to the other of the Earth via a giant elevator, for instance), and the CGI was punched to the max, on the tune of Blade Runner and Minority Report.
The general idea remains the same, though, with Colin Farrell doing a very decent acting job and the two insanely lovely actresses mostly running around and kicking butt. However this version places a lot of the emphasis on the action scenes. Remove them and the entire plot is stripped down, empty, mediocre. That's why, even being better on all counts than the Paul Verhoeven version, it doesn't measure much above it overall.
Bottom line: visually stunning (and not just because of Kate and Jessica), exhausting speed, good acting, a plot that makes no sense and a very small, oh so very small role for Bill Nighy. Average overall.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Total Recall is anything but ordinary. That is to say, the film is
second to none! I can say this with certainty on account of these two
First, the plot of the film made me dwell on it. The movie has a refreshing story, which shows a secret agent, Hauser figuring out his erased memory. Watching the film, I was confused some of the times because I didn't know for sure if Douglus is having illusions of Hauser on the REKALL chair or if Douglas is actually Hauser. I loved the fact that I could actually ponder seriously while watching the film.
Second, the quotes of Matthias made a great impression on me. He said that one should listen to his heart to know who he really is. He said clinging to the past is not helpful at all and can also do us harm. For me, what Matthias said really helped because now I stopped worrying that I might not do as well as the past. It's not the past that I have to care about, but the present.
As I'm not a native speaker of English, it was not so easy for me to understand the film fully without making mistakes. But one thing for sure, I just luuuved it!
I quite enjoy Arnie's Total Recall, but I am by no means a die-hard fan and subsequently viewed this updated version without prejudice or the desire to compare. Len Wiseman, director of guilty pleasures Underworld and Die Hard 4.0, has delivered the mind-numbing, bombastic goods yet again. His Recall is packed with exciting futuristic landscapes, stylish action sequences (the vertigo-inducing car chase was thrilling) and near-perfect CGI; all merging to create a wonderful couple of hours of real-life escapism. The story is engaging without being mind-blowing and it chucks in a few cheeky references to 1990's Recall however it runs out of puff in the final act and provides a ho-hum ending. Colin Farrell is reliable as the perplexed anti-hero, Jessica Biel notches up another satisfactory action chick role and Kate Beckinsale most definitely "gives good wife", however Bryan Cranston lets the team down as the one-dimensional villain. Slotting in somewhere under Christopher Nolan and above P.T. Anderson on the filmmaking scale, Wiseman isn't a master of the blockbuster movie but he certainly knows how to produce a rollicking good ride.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I always click spoiler alert because I don't want to inadvertently let something slip and have IMDb block my reviews. But I try not to give too much away, because frankly, if you want to know what's in the movie, go see the movie. But had been looking forward to this for some time, and it was not disappointing. Remakes generally suck, of course. I think this was a better movie than the original as far as production and cinematography, but there were some problems. In the original Arnie seemed to have some trouble with the idea that his memory might have been altered; in the original, Colin questioned it once and then sort of said "Fuck it, okay." But the action scenes were well put together. Some a little too long for no apparent reason, but still good. Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel were awesome, Kate even more so. I know I've spent too much time watching Soap Net when I was waiting for the two of them to fall into a swimming pool while fighting. Much like the first, of course (and rightly so) we never know if it all really happened or if it was just an implanted memory. But still, it was fun.
If like me you're just looking for entertainment in this movie then you
won't be disappointed. I was absorbed... the music, costumes,
technology, etc. It was well done.
I forgot about everything else and became completely engrossed. For what I was looking for, i rate this movie highly.
I knew the story going in. I saw the original. Its a copy of someone else's idea so its not a movie to judge on story, although the story itself is well done and brings "it down to earth" a little better than the original.
Forget the critics trying to address these types of movies on some kind of artistic level. Irrelevant. You go to these to lose yourself in an imaginary world of the future, well made, with lots of good CGI.
They clearly spent some money on this and put it together well. This was an enjoyable film which is why I give it 7.0. If you're a fan of these types of movies go see it, you'll be entertained and will forget about everything else for 135 minutes.
OMG what is up with some people ragging on this movie I'm a huge fan of
the original Arnie version, one of my faves of his work, and was very
worried they'd mess this up but I loved every minute of it.
Yes they have changed the story up a little, no longer set on mars but on a damaged Earth which has only two parts of the planet actually live-able anymore (not a spoiler as this is presented at the very start, written across the screen, and on all the board and IMDb).
there is still a woman with 3 breasts but as she is wearing some kind of bra this was worthless to even have in it (and I am a straight woman, why bother to show 3 tits if no one sees them, lame) you've got two bad-ass female action stars (kate beckinsale and jessica biel), kicking a lot of ass including each others, loved it. But even everyone else's fighting very fast, very damaging, very slick, much better fighting moves than the original (still love it though).
there was a lot more robots and amazing CGI, which they couldn't really do when the original came out really, anyone who watches the original can tell when it looks off. all the bits they changed / added that I thought would make it suck I really loved, I hated what his job was in this one but it came in handy in the end. plus all 3 of the main stars look hot as hell.
for anyone would loves the original, this remake will not disappoint, there are even some bits that show off the original at times like in station/customs scene "2 weeks".
PLEASE IF YOU Haven't ALREADY WATCHED IT, DO SO NOW THIS IS AMAZE BALLS!!!! thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, I only put it on to check quality of it but was so engrossed I had to watch the whole film right there right then, even thought it was 7:30am after having worked the night shift, its that good.
anyone young thats seen and enjoyed or plans to watch please also watch the original as its a great movie too, and we should never forget where it came from. I'm only 27 but I hate when there is a reboot/remake of something I love and someone not much younger than me has no clue of the original film/TV show even existing, sickens me.
I don't think the director could have packed anymore running, fighting,
and explosions in this remake. It's less relevant what the backdrop of
the story is, be it on Mars on Earth, the result is the same -
meaningless action and more action for the shake of action.
In the creative field, it's known that if you copy someone's idea, you'd do it better. The movie studio may think we are outdoing the original Total Recall with this rehash combined with borrowed parts from other successful sci-fi flicks -- it's a disappointment, guys. It's a typical case of Hollywood studios with extra cash and technology knowhow without a good story to tell.
Total Recall (1:58, PG-13) 5 SF, biggie, remake, OSIT cynics
I'm usually not fond of remakes. The few exceptions are when the original film totally blew a good story possibility, and the story's still worth doing right. That doesn't happen very often. Usually remakes are of successful films that Hollywood thinks can be milked for more money by throwing in contemporary actors and shinier CGI, but without having to employ creativity or brainpower on a new script, and to those my usual reaction is "Why bother? We can always get the original on DVD."
This both is and isn't a concern with the 2012 version of Total Recall. Yes, you do get the fresher faces and shinier CGI to try to extract new bux from a fresh audience. But no, it's not really the same story, and I actually like this STORY better than the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. For one thing, the science is more credibly late 21st Century, with a transit tube called The Fall running thru the Earth, relying on the cheap "power" of gravitational attraction to zip giant commuter trains between London and Australia (the only 2 places on the planet still functioning well after a global chemical war). This is theoretically possible if the engineering problems of temperature and pressure down deep in the Earth's interior can be solved, but 80-90 years down the road, that's not unreasonable. Some of the other tech such as the mag-lev cars and hand-implanted phones is ingenious and credible as well, unlike the train wreck that was Prometheus earlier this year.
And there's the same central theme of a protagonist not being sure who he really is, since his memories are completely untrustworthy. The 1990 movie did a better job of exploring this theme, and Arnold was actually more convincingly human in his bewilderment over what was happening to him than Colin Farrell is here.
The sad thing here is that most of the film's 1:58 running time is devoted to chases, crashes, and gunfights. They are spectacularly well staged, and mucho credit goes to production designer Patrick Tatopoulos for creating a convincing environment. But I was hoping for more intellectual heft, as well as greater credibility for the scenarios that "factory worker" Douglas Quaid has to go thru. Since he starts out in the brain-diddling chair in the Rekall parlor, being assured that his soon-to-be-your-own recollection of being a secret agent will be the best memory he's ever had, his subsequent inhuman physical resiliency and stamina to say nothing of the unlikelihood of the leader of the free world personally leading a SWAT assault on a terrorist HQ, followed by being the 1st guy off the ship of an invading army should have made him question "Wait a minute. This HAS to be fake. Nobody can possibly be this good or this lucky." I know that's what I was thinking for at least half the movie. But he never does.
Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Beil are the only other actors with meaty roles, which generally involve running, punching, kicking, shooting, and reckless driving. They sure do look good doing it, tho.
There was potential here, but most of it was thrown away for cheap thrills, and not even R-rated thrills like the earlier one. Too bad.
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