Thursday, August 16, 2012

Total Recall in Theaters Now

Just so you know, I did not see the first Total Recall, so I went into this movie with fresh eyes. The previews made it look pretty exciting, but nowadays, there are mainly two kinds of previews. There are previews that hook you with the first ten or twenty minutes of a movie and don't really give anything away. And then there are previews that tell you the whole story in a nutshell. They are great summaries, but they spoil too much. Total Recall's preview was a bit like the latter. Actually, it was somewhat worse than the latter. It made me think the movie would go one way and be more complicated. In reality, they were faking it. The movie was straightforward with barely any twists and turns and ended up disappointing. I don't think there was any way the movie, as it is, could have won with me. On one hand, I was disappointed that the story wasn't more complicated. But if it had been more complicated, it would have been one of those movies that messes with your mind and makes you wonder what's reality (like Inception, but Inception did it right), and in this case, having everything be in a guy's head would have been even more disappointing.

The cool factor of this movie is definitely the setting (layers upon layers of city suspended in the air!) and the chase scenes that go through it. Kate Beckinsale isn't a vampire this time, but she's as scary as one and looks as good as any vampire ever did (She's 39!).

Not as cool are scenes of nudity and the actual logistics of this science fiction flick, based on a story by Philip K. Dick. I don't mind suspending disbelief for science fiction, but it is a little beyond that to have people commute to work in a 17-minute trip called The Fall through the core of the earth. Cool, yes, but way beyond believable.

Other plot holes make this a story you don't want to think too much about, but it doesn't seem to have been trying too hard to stimulate any brain function. If you watch it, enjoy the scenery and the pretty people (including Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel) beating each other up, but don't expect much else. This is not one of Philip K. Dick's better stories, but maybe the written story is better.

Rated PG-13. Two hours. Two and a half stars. Wait for the DVD.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a lot like the original. People think the original is cerebral, but I found it to be a straightforward action flick. I guess nothing changed.


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