Saturday, September 01, 2012

Total Recall

      Let's get it out of the way, immediately. The original film was a classic and why mess with a classic? When Hollywood can't come up with enough original material, they go to the well over and over again and very rarely succeed. I expected to hate this "remake" but instead, found it  exciting and a pretty decent "summer popcorn" movie.

           If you can get Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone out of your mind (or even better, don't see the original) and take this new film on it's own merit, you won't be disappointed. The story takes elements from the original but changes things up enough to create a new vision for the film. It's an exciting sci-fi thrill ride with a great cast. Colin Farrell returns to action hero form as the "average Joe" who finds out he may actually be a resistance fighter. Kate Beckinsale is his wife, who has perfected her action scenes from all her "Underworld" films. Also starring is Bryan Cranston (Mr. Breaking Bad, himself) in the villain role Hollywood has finally realized he can play so well. As the other woman in Mr. Farrell's dual life, Jessica Biel holds her own, especially in a close quarters fight scene with Ms. Beckinsale.

           Director Len Wiseman knows his way around a futuristic set having directed "Underworld" and keeps the action moving pretty much non-stop. He does favor blue lighting a bit too much but his CGI vision of the future blends well with the live action. The chase scene through the air in flying cars is one of many fun moments. And they do pay homage to the original with a few familiar bits.

            Unfortunately the film got a bad rap and is probably fading from theaters. If you like Sci-fi action try to see it while it's still out there as it's the type of film that works much better on the big screen.

             And note to Hollywood, enough with the remakes. Find more original material or your audience will go elsewhere.

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