Movie Review – Recalling a classic

2012-08-31 11:41

Film: Total Recall (Ster-Kinekor)
Director: Len Wiseman
Featuring:Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, Bill Nighy and Kate Beckinsale
Rating: 6/10

Len Wiseman is a black lycra man and he likes his real-life spouse Kate Beckinsale head-to-toe in the stuff.

He also likes her lethal and so she, as the deadly Lori in this remake, vamps it up and you might be forgiven for thinking you are watching yet another in the Underworld series of films.

Except she’s traded in her fangs for a really bad attitude and an even bigger arsenal of guns.

Total Recall being recalled for box-office duty was bound to happen.

It’s a good story from the prolific pen of the late sci-fi writer Philip K Dick who also wrote Blade Runner, Minority Report and The Imposter.

This version of Total Recall, though, has been tweaked.

In the original, Mars is where the protagonist has his hair-raising adventures.

Here it’s a terrifying dystopic version of an Earth ravaged by war.

There are only two habitable territories left – one is a colony which provides cheap labour to the other.

With living space at a premium and life a dreary trudge, a company in the red-light district is doing a brisk trade in implanting adventures in the minds of factory workers and other drones of the military industrial complex.

The adventures can be anything the customer wants and Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) chooses double agent.
Competent Irishman Farrell has little to live up to acting wise.

After all, the original role was played by the most famous android of the 1980s – Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Similarly, Beckinsale’s deadly Lori is an update of the most notorious black widow of the 1980s – Sharon Stone.

Insipid Jessica Biel is the love interest and Bill Nighy is the shadowy leader of the resistance.

It’s hard to call this remake a good film – but it draws the viewer in, inviting them to surrender to a rollercoaster of an action flick with great potential as a video game.

Farrell goes from a meek factory worker to eye-popping James Bond-esque secret agent in the flick of a switch.

About as quickly as Beckinsale is transformed from loving wife to snarling would-be assassin.

The special effects are great fun as is the vision of a ravaged earth, to be expected from Wiseman.

The video game feel of his films is also no surprise as he honed his craft by directing adverts for the likes of PlayStation, and his action credentials are based on Die Hard 4 and the Underworld films.

» Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala

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