Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Dukes See a Movie: Total Recall

It is official; Hollywood has run out of original ideas. I had been gradually losing hope as we were faced with movie after movie that had been done before in some fashion, but this was the final straw. I am still not quite sure why this movie was remade. The original with Schwarzenegger was made a mere 22 years ago and has actually held up quite well. Sure some of the graphics could be better, but as a whole it isn't something that feels out of place now. The original had a budget of 65 million for goodness sakes. That was a ton of money for a movie and it shows in its production values.

The original idea came from a story by Philip K. Dick called "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale". This is actually the second movie adaptation from a Philip K. Dick story that Colin Farrell has fielded. As you may or may not know the first was Minority Report, which incidentally was originally planned as a sequel to the 1990 Total Recall. They had to scrap those plans because the company that held the rights to Total Recall refused to give them up. Once again my love for random trivia shines through. You are welcome, maybe?

My unofficial nickname that no one has even heard of or ever used.

As the story starts we see Douglas Quaid (in the first draft his name was Douglas Quail. His name was changed due to the fact that the original was being filmed during the Bush administration and his VP was named Dan Quayle.) trudging along as a factory worker. He seems to feel like something is missing, even though he has a super loving attractive wife and good friends. He lives in a place called the Colony and they are considered inferior to the people living in the Republic of New Britain or something like that (the original is on Mars).It an attempt to seek what he is missing he goes in for a procedure to implant fake memories in his mind.

As they are starting the procedure something goes wrong and the machine is unhooked and a large group of soldiers come in and attempt to subdue him. From there a lot of running and escaping happens.

But sadly there isn't any of this.

I think it does not bode well for the movie when I am rooting for the villains, but come on they made that choice super hard. The supposed heroes are Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel whereas the bad guys are Bryan Cranston and Kate Beckinsale. I am sorry but the bad guys are much better actors and they are more likable in general.  I would have been fine had the movie had ended with evil rising triumphant. I hadn't completely turned to the dark side though because I was also fine with the fact that good came out on top.

In the end if you want to see a Total Recall movie and you can only watch one, make it the original. However if you have all the time in the world and you want to see both of them I won't be the one to tell you not to.

Rating 2.75 stars


I can't believe I forgot to mention my biggest beef with this movie which happens to be the science. For workers to get from one side of the world to the other they travel through the center of the Earth on a thing called the Fall. It is supposedly a just an object free falling from one side to the other. In the movie we are told that it takes 17 minutes to get from one side to the other. That would clearly not be the case. To make it in 17 minutes they would have to be traveling at an average speed over 28,000 miles per hour. It is not possible for it to average that speed from a free fall at least according to real science and not terrible movie science.

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