Total Recall

6 Sep

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Unfortunately Director Len Wiseman has done just that by removing and replacing what was good in the original ‘Total Recall’ (1990) by a lot of ‘mediocre’.

By the end of the 21st century, earth has been devastated from chemical warfare leaving only two habitable territories, i.e. the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the Colony (Australia). A factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) along with thousands of others travels every day from the Colony to UFB via “The Fall”; an elevator that travels through the earth’s core. Happily married to Lori (Kate Beckinsale), Quaid dreams are marred by a single memory that he doesn’t remember having. Tempted to figure things out, he visits a company that implants artificial memories called ‘Rekall’ that flicks a switch in his head pushing him into the life he was made to forget.

Collin Ferral as Douglas Quaid

Colin Ferrell as Quaid is trying to fill shoes too big for him. Even though Arnold Schwarzenegger was never known for his acting prowess; his larger-than-life screen presence, odd funny one-liners and to an extent his accent brought more soul to the role than Ferrell manages. Instead, chooses to go through the places with a dead-serious attitude while sporting a frown. Also, Ferrell fails to relay to the viewers the sense of confusion Quaid must be feeling. Where he does shine is in the action sequences, from knocking out a SWAT team to free-running across rooftops.

Colin Farrel with Kate Beckinsale as Lori

Kate Beckinsale as UFB agent Lori is like the terminator that refuses to die. Apart from constantly chasing and beating up Quaid throughout the film, Kate has little else to do so she trolls through the film with just a few expressions and not much acting. Jessica Biel (as Melina) wasn’t any better with zero chemistry and role curve.

Jessica Biel as Melina

When Bryan Cranston (as Cohaagen) first appeared on the screen, hopes were raised for a brilliant showdown between good and bad. Some intelligent argument was expected, but instead we got the ‘done to death’ old-man-fist-fights-with-young-man climax. John Cho’s (McClane) acting skills were wasted while Bokeem Woodbine as Harry was quite convincing in his short role.

Bryan Cranston as Cohaagen

Coming from the Underworld films, Len Wiseman shows great understanding of how an action scene should be shot. Sensational CGI, sleek editing and brilliant cinematography add great finesse to the film. Unfortunately, a spoon-fed screenplay results in a toned-down sci-fi film that becomes a bore-fest of pointless subplots, awkward chemistry and unwanted action sequences. The soundtrack by Harry Gregson-Williams is mediocre and how ever beautiful the cinematography is, the content doesn’t always make sense.

I honestly didn’t enjoy it. I’d put this down as a huge disappointment and honestly I think I would have preferred watching the original again instead.

4/10

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