daniel cohen reviews the remake of the ahnold classic…
Plot: Set in the future where most of the planet has been ravaged by chemicals, a simple factory worker, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), wants more out of life. After going to Rekall, a company that can literally implant exciting new memories into your brain, they accidentally unlock a hidden past in which Quaid was the leader of the resistance that wants to bring down the current militaristic regime.
We all know Hollywood is short on original concepts. Or at least they choose not to make them in favor of safer projects. There are three different roads Hollywood will take in order to make a movie: The adaptation, the re-boot, and the re-make. The re-make is my least favorite, and that’s what we have here with Total Recall – an absolute carbon copy of the 1990 classic with Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is the same damn movie. They didn’t even bother to change the names. Come on?! You can’t even change the names of the characters! I know what the argument will be: ‘Well, what about the entire generation of people who never saw the original Total Recall. This is for them.’ Fine, you know what…I’ll go with that argument. I swear…I’m done criticizing this film because it’s not the original. Here are the other reasons why it’s a lackluster, boring, tedious waste of time.
Who decided Colin Farrell was an entertaining action star? I’m not going to say he’s as boring as Paul Bettany, but he’s definitely in that class of actors who make me want to go to bed when I see them. I would say he’s sandwiched in between Bettany and Jason Statham. He brings absolutely nothing to this movie. I guess there’s a couple solid scenes with his best friend Harry, played by Bokeem Woodbine. And I guess that’s the real weakness all around for this film – weak acting. Kate Beckinsale tries way too hard to be a bad ass to the point of just being irritating, and Jessica Biel matches Farrell’s boredom with yawn inducing intensity. Bryan Cranston is definitely the best actor in here as you can imagine, but honestly, by the time he gets into the picture, it’s too late.
For all my complaining though, I do have some nice things to say about this film. It is pretty to look at. The settings look really cool, and kind of reminded me of a shithole version of Minority Report. It’s got the generic futuristic look you would imagine, but somehow managed to keep it fresh. The action is also filmed pretty well. There’s cool shit with flying cars, but it does get stale after a while.
I truly have nothing else to say about this movie. The action and look are good enough to keep you somewhat engaged for the first two acts, but once the third act hits, I couldn’t care less. I completely zoned out and started thinking about a good place to grab lunch afterwards. And I know I said I wouldn’t criticize the film against the original, but the fact of the matter is I couldn’t give two shits about the plot because I knew everything that already happened. And what really pisses me off is that the one thing they decided to cut from the original was the whole going to Mars plot. That was the one thing that could have given this movie life, and that’s what they decided to cut…unbelievable. Here’s the bottom-line: One movie has Arnold Schwarzenegger, the other has Colin Farrell. The end.
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Barely Passable Entertainment)