The number of films that are remade have been on the rise in recent years. Hollywood appears to be attempting to remake every film imaginable. It doesn’t matter if it was good or bad, there isn’t anything that doesn’t or can’t fall prey to the updating that Hollywood is pushing. There are no sacred movies. One of the more recent “re-imaginings” is Total Recall (2012). Despite the success and tremendous following that the original film has incurred, and nearly a quarter of a century after the original debuted, it gets a do over.
Total Recall is a multifaceted, dazzling extravaganza that aptly recreates a 20 year old sci-fi flick and instantly makes a good film ten times better. It turns it into action packed, big budget spectacle. The movie is based on the book “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” by Phillip K. Dick. The film stars Colin Farrell (Fright Night 2011), Jessica Beil (The A-Team), Kate Beckinsdale (Underworld: Awakening), Bryan Cranston (Drive), and Bokeem Woodbine (Devil). Directed by Len Wisman (Underworld, Underworld: Evolution).
The new Total Recall removes all of the larger than life elements that made it a 90’s science fiction flick and uses the new modern approach to science fiction and grounds it with a futuristic element. It gives a firm reality based feel to the sci-fi fantasy aspects of the film. Gone are the trip to Mars, the fight for air, and the psychics, in are firewalls, synthetic non human police force, and a kill code for the supremacy in a freedom fight for the conquest of earth.
The trio of actors that comprise the starring roles do a great job at making the film more than just a visual spectacle. Colin Farrell’s take on Douglas Quaid is less testosterone filled than Arnold Schwarzenegger but it doesn’t lack in action. Farrell is up to the task and ever better Arnie in some ways. Kate Beckinsdale is clearly the best of the three. She steals the show with her performance as Laurie. She is at her best, maybe even better than her breakout performance in the Underworld films. Driven, determined, and kick ass bad as she relentless pursues Farrell and Jessica Beil. Beil is the least dynamic of the three however she does serve as more than a pretty face and brings a lot of humanity to the film through her performance. Clearly not as vocal or physical as Farrell and Beckingsdale, Beil uses her own method to measure up to her co-stars.
The first aspect of the new iteration of Total Recall that will captivates the audience is the dynamic cinematography. This film spares no expense to re-introduce the story of Total Recall to a new generation. The imagery and special effects are first rate. The film makers of this version uses a tremendous budget to give this film is its own identity in spite of the fact that its counterpart will be held steadfast in the minds of many of its viewers. The futuristic world of Total Recall not only looks stunning but it appears to be plausible. This greatly enhances the enjoyment of it.
Despite having the same basic concept as the 1990 version, The 2012 Total Recall is really a different story than its prior incarnation. The earlier film is deeply routed in sci-fantasy with the traveling to Mars and bringing air to the planet. This Total Recall is about oppression and tyranny. This version of Total Recall is actually a better story. While it may be hard for the fans of the original to grasp because of their affinity for the first film, the newer version is exceedingly better in every aspect. Acting, special effects, and some alterations to the story make this film a much better adaptation of the story that its prior incarnation. Nearly every aspect of this Total Recall outdoes the other. It still maintains many of the core elements and includes a number of key scenes that can connect it to the first film but this Total Recall is truly its own story.
Total Recall is every sci-fi lovers dream. It boasters great pacing and non stop action. It moves a great pace that will keep you on the edge of your seat while simultaneously keeping you locked in to the mystery that drives the film. It infuses elements of reality to make this version look more like a believable future as opposed to the original which seems just like a fantasy. The level of realism that is added to the story greatly enhances the enjoyment of the film. This is one of the better science fiction films to debut in recent years. So separate your emotional attachment to the original then jump in and enjoy, this is a must see.
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