Aug 6, 2012

Total Recall (2012) Review

I have a deep secret. I love campy Science Fiction. It is one of the most thrilling oddities of Hollywood honestly. It is where some of the best story telling happens time and time again, usually in the trope of presenting thought provoking questions within the function of the story itself. And a fair amount of these films are also one-shots, with a sequel no where in sight. Some of my favorites include; Judge Dredd, In Time, The 6th Day, Evolution, Minority Report, Underworld, and of course, the original Total Recall.

When I heard that Total Recall was getting the re-imagining treatment with Colin Farrell in the lead role opposite Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, a single eye brow raised on my face. It could work I suppose. Then more information started to show itself. It wasn't going to have anything to do with Mars? Well... okay I guess. After all, not everybody is going to dream of Mars.

Instead we get an awesome sci-fi movie with heavy influences from Star Trek and The Bourne series. Lens-flair isn't in every shot, but it shows up enough for you to notice it. The chase scenes are absolutely breath taking and frantic, they left me on the edge of my seat constantly. The cinematography plays well too, as I never really felt confused as to what was going on action wise.

That being said, I still had problems with the film. The exposition presented didn't really push the story forward at all, more like inched it along slowly. The main characters were all pawns in a bigger fight between an oppressive government and a rebellion, and there are a ton of names thrown around that don't get faces applied to them until the end of the second act. This proves a bit confusing initially, but by the time the third act roles around you stop trying to make sense of it all and just watch the pretty fly by. You really stop thinking of the characters as characters and just start thinking in terms of the actors who play them.

I was also disappointed there wasn't anything concerning the theme of reality versus false reality, considering the original movie dealt pretty heavily with Quaid's perception. The movie isn't perfect by any means, but I found it entertaining enough to turn off my brain and watch some classic B-rate science fiction.