Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 21, 2013

‘Total Recall’ futuristic fun even with flat lead

DVD Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — When it comes to seeing a different vision of your favorite movie classics, some reboots are a little easier to digest than others. Thankfully today’s point of focus at least waited a little longer than some of the more recent super hero reimaginings, giving us almost a few decades to ease out of the awesomeness that is “AHNULD.”

For the most part the updated version was a very nice visual compliment to the technological future, given what we can now accomplish with CGI. The characters were also for the most part tolerable, even if they had to spend the whole film trying to counter Colin Farrell’s impersonation of Kristen Stewart’s acting style. “Total Recall” doesn’t exactly have quite the edge to obtain the cult like worship of the original, but finds enough energy to keep one engaged as only popcorn flicks can.

For the crowd that hasn’t seen this remake, I’ll go ahead and let you down easy with my only spoiler in that it doesn’t take place this time on Mars. In fact, there’s really not a whole lot of similarities between the two versions other than the lead, being Quaid Houser (Farrell) and starting off with nightmares that seem more real than the life being lived (Though the guys watching for three boob lady will get a cameo’s worth too).

This time around everything is pretty much based on a post global war Earth, where people like our factory working Quaid travel between the only two livable spots on the planet through an elevator that goes through the core. Not satisfied with his wife Lori’s (Kate Beckinsale) attempts to sooth his continued interrupted sleep, he eventually goes to Rekall, where he is supposed to find some mental peace with implanted memories and instead throws him into a battle for his true identity. What follows is a fast paced chase scene until the end where he attempts to find people he trusts like a woman from his nightmare named Melina (Jessica Biel) and a decision on whether or not his past can save or doom an entire populace under the foot of a corrupt political leader, Chancellor Vilos Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston).

The thing that stood out most to me was how this in some ways felt like part of one of those mini-series where you’re not supposed to see the whole picture in one episode, but with no promise of exploring the world further later on. It’s exciting enough and some of the banter is quite entertaining between people, but I can’t help like the missing stuff leading up to an invading robot army would have made taken it from fun to awesome.

Sure, movies these days tend to be made with the hope of at least a trilogy, but for something that can’t promise extra explanation it doesn’t make it something I’ll rush to watch again or own. In other words, check it out for a couple of hours of adult sci-fi distraction (not so much family friendly with a bit too much skin for kids) and hope it’s enough to keep you satisfied until something like “Pacific Rim” comes out later this year. Thus, my verdict for “Total Recall (2012 edition)” is an average two out of five hand phones.

DVD rental courtesy of Family Video of Pauls Valley.