Monday, January 7, 2013

One Minute Movie Review: Total Recall (2012)

Very few remakes, or reboots as they are referred to now, are able to match or improve upon their originals. There is that rare instance when it does occur and Len Wiseman, director of the only two Underworlds that matter is one of the few directors that are able to accomplish that feat. The 1990 Schwarzenegger vehicle was groundbreaking in its story, action, and special effects taking great liberty with a short story by Philip K. Dick. That version focused on a quest to free Mars while the current manifestation focuses on a more terrestrial storyline. Again, I refuse to divulge any spoilers but will instead focus on key elements of the film beginning with the acting. Farrell, Beckinsale, and Biel all deliver top notch performances and their characters are believable and compelling. Farrell's take on the amnesiac Quaid, I have to say, is a far more honest and engaging character than Arnold's. But it is Beckinsale's villainess that unequivocally steals the show. The action is fast-paced and exciting, and the special-effects are outstanding, far more sophisticated than 90s technology could have produced. The most impressive element is Wiseman’s ability to take a predictable plot, thanks to the original, and provide a unique and creative spin making it less quirky and more authentic. Being a tremendous fan of the Terminator, it pains me to say that this 2012 vision overall is just a far better production. 3 out of 5 Kernels: I believe one of the finest authors of science fiction would have been pleased to see this adaptation of his work on the silver screen.

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