Movie Review: Total Recall
On Aug 06, 2012
Total Recall is a bad bet if you are walking into the cinema expecting a genuinely new film, with a fresh theme. But, for those interested in seeing an action film that stays loyal to the basics, Total Recall might be rated as one among the 'better' movies coming under the action genre.
Total Recall of 1990 was a genuinely unique movie, which dealt with the futuristic world of Earth and a colonised one in Mars. The 2012 Total Recall has taken the thread from the original one, to create a new world that has been mostly destroyed by biological warfare. In the whole world there are just two regions with human settlement – the United Federation of Britain and its colony, which is the continent of Australia. These two regions are connected by 'The Fall', a transportation machine which carry people to and fro the two regions via the centre of the earth.
While the movie does show a unique kind of fictional world, there seems no explanation to link the story line with reality. The futuristic world that's shown seems inspired from a host of movies, especially when it comes to flying cars. Although made with a unique theme, Total Recall ends up being just another action movie which focuses merely on the extraordinary things happening to Douglas Quaid (Collin Ferrel).
So, when the movie ends after two hours, feel all right if you wonder what makes this story so special to take place so far in the future and what exactly is the reason for which everyone is fighting for.
Collin Ferrel, as Douglas Quaid, finds out one day that he is not what he thought he is, that he is someone else. His realisation changes things very quickly as his loving wife 'Lori' (Kate Beckinsale) turns into being his number one enemy. The movie follows the customary pattern of suspense-action films, with a few minutes of intense action followed by a segment of drama where something more of the plot gets revealed to get closer to the climax.
Jessica Biel as 'Melina' plays Quaid’s 'girl of his dream'. She can't act and has proved it again with her role as 'Melina', as Quaid's girl friend and as a fighter for the resistance group, in Total Recall. Colin Ferrel has taken quite a few serious bumps and falls for the movie, and his performances does deliver the intensity that's required by the secret agent in 'Douglas Quaid'.
Kate Beckinsale, the action girl of 'Underworld' movie series, does well in Total Recall too, but the lack of proper characterisation makes 'Lori' seem a bit mechanical, like an assassin brainwashed to kill 'Douglas'. But the real part where Total Recall fails completely as a movie is in bringing out the true essence of life in the world about which the movie is being staged. Although condition of Earth is similar to that of post apocalyptic period, the way the world has been conceived makes it too familiar with today's to accept that theory.
Director Len Wiseman has adapted the plot of the original Total Recall movie which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger, without ever trying to understand the content explained in the movie. While it is shown that the resistance is heading for an all out war against the Federation in the movie, it has never once bothered to explain exactly for what reason the destructive war is being waged.
Although the film is set in 2084 the aspect of the movie as a suspense action thriller remains outdated even today. There are many impressive gadgets that's being flashed throughout the movie to sell the 'future' angle to the viewers. Gadgets change but the hero usually never dies in an action movie, as it has been the case since time immemorial.