zondag 14 december 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 146: Total Recall

Director: Len Wiseman
Genre: Actie/ Science Fiction/ Thriller
Runtime: 118 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, John Cho

Description: A factory worker, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.

Review: Remakes of big movies are really popular these days. You take a big film from the last twenty to twenty five years, modernize it a bit, throw in some famous actors and a success is guaranteed. Right? There are movies that where ready for a remake, like “Cape Fear” by Martin Scorsese or “Ocean’s 11” by Steven Soderbergh. And the Hitchcock classic “Psycho” was a film that didn’t really need that at all. Len Wiseman’s “Total Recall” falls right in the middle.
It’s 2084 and due to a chemical war the biggest part of the world is uninhabitable. Two big areas fight for the power on earth. Factory worker Douglas Quaid lives in The Colony with his wife Lori. He has a recurring dream where he and a woman are being chased. Quaid wants more from his life and he decides to visit the company Rekall. They implant memories. Quaid chooses a memory as a secret agent, but before they can implant it something goes wrong and he turns out to be a wanted man. When Quaid is chased by the police he finds out that nothing is what it seems.
With a remake it’s hard not to compare. “Total Recall” from 1990 was Paul Verhoeven’s break. The biggest difference between the two movies is that in the original the planet Mars is a big part of the film. In the new one, the movie is set on planet earth. Verhoeven’s version had some self-mockery, but Wiseman is going for a more serious approach and gives it a political touch. And the look of the film reminds you a bit of “Blade Runner” as well. Originality is hard to find here. It does look very good, the visuals and action sequences are amazing. But it’s hard to take in the environment because it all goes in warp speed.
Colin Farrell is off course a better actor then Arnold Schwarzengger and he’s a believable action hero. My biggest problem with the film is that you never really know if the events really happened or were all in Quaid’s head.
“Total Recall” is an entertaining action/ sci-fi film that takes itself a bit too seriously. Visually it’s stunning and Colin Farrell is doing a solid job as Quaid. But the movie never convinces you the way the original did.

Rating: 3/ 5

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