Me and My Nine Iron

August 5, 2012

Total Recall review

Filed under: Movie reviews — BJ @ 8:19 am

Seen at a pre-release screening in Orange:

A remake of Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s Recall, per Colin Farrell, the first act is different but the rest plays off the 1990 film. I disagree because while Arnold was fighting whether it was a dream or not, that’s only briefly touched on in this one. Rather, his main conflict is what side of two remaining nation states he’s fighting for. The movie would’ve been better if it was like the original.

I will give it props for trying, as it’s 85 minutes of nearly non-stop action once Farrell steps into Rekall. Not perfect for a handful of reasons: story beats are highly derivative of The Bourne Identity, I did not like Kate Beckinsale as the main antagonist, Jessica Biel‘s relationship with Farrell’s was unfulfilled (I thought Diane Kruger, who was considered for the role, would’ve played her better too) and the futuristic set pieces, although cool at times, were far from perfect (e.g. the cars, at least the ones I saw in post-production, were unattractive clunkers).

But the biggest drawback I had was the action, especially when it consumes the entire movie. When your protagonist dodges as many bullets as Farrell’s does, it starts to detract the viewer from being in the moment and lends the idea that a spray of machine guns is no longer dangerous to our protagonist. That might be the most fatal thing in any genre, and the reason why there are so few good action movies. (Two glaring examples that come to mind are Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.) The hand-to-hand combat was pathetic, slow and mundane. Some better fight scenes and a bigger mystery throughout would’ve made this a true classic like The Bourne Trilogy, but I know that’s asking for a lot.

Notwithstanding that, a good first crack at the $125 million movie by Kurt Wimmer, who I heard speak in September. Farrell’s performance is very bread and butter, but I’m just glad they didn’t let then 63-year-old Arnold reprise his role, which he wanted to. Overall, a remake that didn’t need to be done with a lot of gimmicks, unbelievable action and out-of-place nods to the original.

Total Recall opened in theaters on Friday.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

IMDb rating: 6.3
What it should be: 6.8




1 Comment »

  1. I agree with this review; it was just an okay movie. None of the actors really stood out. Good review!

    Comment by Logan Krum Movie Reviews — August 5, 2012 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

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