Monday, 17 September 2012

Total Recall

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV


Country of origin:USA / Canada
Director:Len Wiseman
Genre:Pointless remake folly
Starring:Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston
IMDB link:
Tagline:Is it real? Is it recall?
Favourite line:"The past is a construct of the mind. It blinds us. It fools us into believing…."

Yep, it’s the remake nobody wanted.

The plot:
In the latter part of the 21st Century, mankind has ravaged the planet. Only two areas remain fit for habitation, .The United Federation of Britain and The Colony (Australia).
Joined together by a tube called The Fall, workers commute between the zones in just seventeen minutes, The Colony workers repressed and hard-done by compared to their more fortunate British counterparts.
One old Colonial, Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) is bored of his life, despite the fact that he is married to Kate Beckinsale. Eager for fresh stimulation, off he trots to Rekall, to get his brain all zapped an’ tha’, and implanted with fresh memories, those of a secret agent.
Trouble is, seems Quinn may be a sleeper agent in real life and, when the streams are crossed in this way, neurons have a tendency to fry.
Just as his head is being zapped, in burst a squadron of robotic soldiers and, without even thinking, Quaid kills the fucking lot of them.
Now a fugitive, Quaid must find out the truth.
Is he really Quaid?
Is he a double agent?
Is he a triple agent?
Is he a double triple agent, with Big Mac and fries to go?
Frankly, does it really matter if any of this makes sense or not?

Verhoeven’s 1990 original is a towering example of big budget, OTT sci-fi, with a Hollywood behemoth in the lead role and a genuine madman behind the camera. Without any sense of restraint, SchwarzeGeezer bounces around the set, all rippling muscles and stupid Bavarian farmer accent, jabbing metal poles into scientist’s necks, ripping people’s arms off, ogling three-titted whores and generally having a bloody whale of a time.
This time round, things are much more sensible.
Sure, there’s plenty of gunfire and, yes, there’s a wonderfully improbable car chase about halfway in, but any sense of the truly absurd, the truly decadent has been removed.
A 12a certificate, this is an utterly bloodless affair, and the body count is, in the main, a robotic one, but that’s not to say there isn’t violence. The fight sequences between Quaid and his ‘wife’ are good fun, but no one ever gets hurt.
Similarly, the bad guys are infuriatingly inept. At one point, a tense negotiation is undertaken, with fifty or so robot soldiers pointing their guns. When the talks eventually break down, and the gunfight ensues, not one of the dozy fuckers manages to find a target.
It’s like The A-Team.
Only louder.
Farrell is decent enough in the lead role, and probably makes for a more sensible choice – SchwarzeGeezer could never truly pass for a workaday everyman – and Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel do well enough, too, but this is a strange movie, really, trying it best to be different to the original – there are plenty of new ideas, here, and the mutant angle is dropped altogether - but at the same time coming across as defanged and just a bit limp.
Not as awful as I feared.
Not as interesting as it should have been.
One for teenage boys only to truly enjoy, I reckon.

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