Total Recall (2012)

September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s about time I get to a movie remake and what can I say anything about it? A few have been good but many are bad and just made for getting Hollywood executives being money-hungry bastards. Now I don’t mind remakes since it’s a separate entity to the original except for some cases like Straw Dogs and Videodrome. In addition, the remake business has been going on since way, way before I was born. So if a remake sucks, just stick with the original because it’s not much worth complaining and it’s a type of shenanigans that will never, ever go away.

And before I get to the movie, I get that Total Recall is more of a re-adaptation but despite being a different adaptation of We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, they just stick the title of a 1990 movie instead so fuck it, re-adaptations are now considered remakes anyway so let’s play along with this. Why did I see this is mainly because I’m a sucker for movies based (and loosely based) upon Philip K. Dick’s works no matter what the positive and negative reception is so when I heard about a remake of this, I already know it’s gonna be a bad and unnecessary remake but I’m still gonna check it out anyway.

I wouldn’t bother giving you the plot because it’s the same plot to the original movie but instead of setting in both Earth and Mars (either in reality or fantasy state), it just place on Earth. Now to say it simple, the movie actually takes place in three places on Earth – The United Federation of Britain, a habited wasteland located someplace outside London and The Colony which is formerly known as Australia. Oh I get it, They changed the name because Australia was once a penal colony centuries ago. Actually, I don’t get it because The Colony is just a lower-class island and that’s about it really.

Other than the short plot and the setting, I should explain why it doesn’t take place in Mars. Now the short story itself doesn’t have Mars as a major point to the story so Paul Verhoeven expand that for his version of the story while Len Wiseman attempts to keep it faithful (even though it doesn’t much come off as that) and I can deal with the loss of Mars and the mutants in the remake. However, The Three-Breasted Woman did make a cameo in the remake but instead of her as a mutant, she just went to plastic surgery to get three boobs and that’s just a stupid change.

The style in the remake is not great either. I do get that the original version is an action masterpiece while having a well-thought and existential interpretation since it is based on Philip K. Dick story after all. For the remake however, not only is the movie just style over substance but it’s also a badly-done Michael Bay clone. Really? Is the way we seeing the future of action movies? I honestly don’t want that to happen. Well, at least this is not as annoying and nauseating as Dark of the Moon so I give it that.

The acting itself is barely there. Colin Ferrell did try his best as Douglas Quaid but he failed to mimic the characterisation of Arnie. Jessica Biel is also okay but I’m not much a fan of her really. Kate Beckinsale as Lori is the worst of all characters and she obviously only did this because her husband is a director. Bill Nighy and John Cho’s roles is really wasted since they only get five minutes or less of screen time. Ethan Hawke’s cameo appearance is sadly not in the movie so that will get his fans pissed (then again, Len is probably saving it for the DVD). If anything, The only good thing in the remake is Bryan Cranston as Cohaagen as he is doing what he is known to play – a dysfunctional father handing his kids in a sitcom situation.

So to end it up, it obviously is a stupid remake which interests new audience to buy the original Total Recall (which is recently reissued as a special Blu-Ray edition). And since I said that I’m a fan of Philip K. Dick adapted movies, this is the worst of all. I can deal with Next and Paycheck since at least it’s watchable but this movie, it doesn’t deserve it so don’t even send this ass to the red planet as well because even the Martians might hate it.


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