I decided to go and see Total Recall today. I was a fan of the Arny classic so I had that expectation in my head… just a heads up to anyone thinking about seeing it, no need to have your comparison pants on when you see this updated version.
They story lines of both are followed pretty close to each other. The major divergence between the two films is that in this one they don’t travel to Mars. This time we are set in a post nuclear fallout, where only two areas of the planet are habitable; United Federation of Britain (UFB) and The Colony (which is Australia). They have created a magnetic elevator straight through the planet called ‘The Fall’ so the laborers who live on The Colony can travel to and from work in the UFB every day. Suspension of reality with this on several counts… one being that it only take 17 minutes to traverse from point A to point B… another would be that THEY BUILT A TUNNEL THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF THE PLANET…
Anywho… I digress…
I can suspend my disbelief for things of that nature. (If you can’t then this might not be the movie for you) That is the only major plot difference… well, no Mars means no alien air machine at the end of the movie. In this one, Cohaagen, is after total world control. And there is no Kuato. This time the resistance is headed by Matthias Lair played by the immensely talented Bill Nighy. The also did away with Richter who was played by Michael Ironside. They instead combined Quaid’s wife and the Richter characters and had the ass-kicking Kate Beckinsale play the combo. It worked. And so does Colin Farrell. For most you either like him or you don’t. I fall into the former group. He’s made a few good films as of late… Plus the dude is sculpted out of marble… Ladies, you know what I’m talkin’ about. But he does a good job.
They did the original script justice. No spoilers but there are several scenes from the original that made it into the update; Quite a few actually. I was happy to see the writers and director keep the original in mind while making this one. Unlike some movies out there *cough* Charlie and the Chocolate Factory *cough, cough* Sorry, must have some popcorn stuck in my throat.
Now I did have one issue with it… And it’s one of my top movie pet peeves. In no particular order:
1) 3D…. I hate 3D movies…
2) Remakes that don’t acknowledge the original… *cough* Dukes of Hazzard *cough, cough* Sorry about that, silly popcorn husks.
3) Shaky camera movies… That is a tool of a lazy cinematographer or teenage girls. Stop it… Just stop it.
4) And the pet peeve that this movie was a violator…. Lens Flare…. Dear Gods of everything holy and unholy, ENOUGH! J.J. Abrams has made this style choice all too vogue. It was bad in his reboot of ‘Star Trek’ and he went off the deep end with lens flare in ‘Super 8’. It is distracting, annoying and nearly made the later unwatchable. In this, Len Wiseman was somewhere between those two with his use of lens flare.
Overall though, it is a very good popcorn movie. If you are inclined, I say go, get a big ol’ bucket of buttery goodness, munch and watch.