The Ninjabot

Total “Recap” – 3 Boobs are Not Enough to Save this Movie

Posted on August 6, 2012 at 7:39 pm by Darth Shiva

Over the weekend, I went out to see the new Total Recall movie. First, I’d like to say that although I saw the original, it was so long ago that the only thing I remember about it was the chick with 3 boobs and that Mars was involved (there is an homage to both in this film). Although I don’t think that the remake followed the same plotlines as the old, either way I have to look at it as a new movie.

This movie is a fun popcorn film. It’s The Fifth Element meets Inception meets the Bourne movies meets Underworld. It might not win any awards for beautiful story telling or stupendous acting, but it’s fun to watch on the big screen and it’s visually stunning. The graphics and models used are gorgeous, making it a feast for the eyes. If you enjoy seeing action on the big screen, then I would recommend you see this.

I tried not to be too spoilery for the rest of this review (most of what follows is easily discerned from the trailers), but if you’re extremely adverse to knowing anything about a movie before seeing it, then you’ve been warned!

The “plot” setup is that there’s been a major war leaving most of the planet completely devastated and uninhabitable except for two locations: the United Kingdom of Britain, and the Colony (which is Australia). The disparity in the two remaining land masses and the people who belong to each is clear: the UKB is all clean lines and beautiful buildings, orderly and stark in its architecture; whereas the Colony is smashed together and full of dark color and bright lights — it has a very Chinatown feel to it with buildings like anthills, dark concrete balconies on top of each other, and plastic sheets hanging between doorways like you’d see in a butcher shop.

We start off with our main character, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), escaping with a woman (Jessica Biel) on the run from the police, who shoot through the hands of Douglas and the woman before capturing him and allowing her to escape. Douglas wakes up next to his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) who questions him about the “dream” he was having. He says he was trying to escape, but no one was with him. We find out that this is a recurring dream for him, and that he’s not sure what it means or who the woman is.

At that moment, Lori receives a call informing her there’s been a bombing in the United Kingdom of Britain by insurrectionists from the Colony. Lori, who’s a medic, has to leave in order to help the wounded. Doug, who works in a factory that makes synthetic soldiers for the United Kingdom of Britain, gets ready for his job and begins to question his friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) as to the nature of what the insurrectionists are fighting for.

The next few scenes focus on telling us that Doug feels that something is lacking in his life, and because he’s a Colonist, he’s passed over for promotions at work and generally has no opportunities in life. Later, when Doug sees a commercial for Rekall, a place promising to make your dreams come true by implanting them as memories, he asks Harry about it; but Harry tells him it’s too dangerous and that people have gone crazy from using it. However, a new guy at the factory gives Doug a business card, telling him that he’s done it multiple times with no ill effects. Later that evening, Doug finds himself at Rekall, asking for the man on the business card, McClane (John Cho).

McClane tells Doug that the experiences in Rekall can’t be ones you’ve already had or else it would cause brain damage. In the midst of implanting a spy fantasy, McClane finds that there are real experiences in Doug’s brain that are interfering with the Rekall process, and the compound is immediately swarmed by police who try to take Doug into custody. Unbeknownst to him, the Rekall process has awakened something in him, and Doug easily takes out the whole police unit and escapes.

Once home, Doug confides his terrifying ordeal to Lori, but quickly discovers that his lovely wife is really a secret agent put in place to keep an eye on him. As he escapes from Lori, Doug encounters the mysterious woman from his dreams, Melina (Jessica Biel), who tells him that what he has dreamed is real and shows him a scar in her hand that matches his, which, up until that moment, he thought he had gotten at the factory. Melina explains who he really is and why he’s being held by the government, convincing Doug to stay on the run until he can recover enough of his own identity to understand what happened when he was captured and the mission he was on at the time.

There are a ton of hand to hand fights, shot a number of times in the first person style of the Bourne movies, as well as car chases that are very reminiscent of The Fifth Element. The only way to get from the United Kingdom of Britain to the Colony is through a commuter transport that takes people through the core of the Earth. Very cool ideas and implementation, and they were able to make some fun fight scenes using the transport.

There was a fun chick fight between Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel in an elevator car; and while the sound effects were a little overdone, the fight was still pretty fun to watch. Kate Beckinsale used some familiar moves we’ve seen in the Underworld movies, and while it was not in the skintight leather she has on in those, there’s still plenty of eye candy for the guys. I think Kate Beckinsale’s character was over the top, but it also seems like it was overwritten versus just being overacted. I like both her and Jessica Biel, so I thought they both did a good job and were fun to watch.

Colin Farrell is hit or miss with me; I don’t always like him (though I’m always fine with watching him on screen!), and he did pretty well as an action star in this. Bryan Cranston as Cohaagen and Bill Nighy as Matthias round out the leaders of the opposing factions, and both were great to watch. I love Bill Nighy in everything I’ve seen him in, and he didn’t disappoint in this film  I’ve only ever seen Bryan Cranston in “Malcolm in the Middle,” so it was great to see him in this kind of a role. All in all, I think it was a fun summer blockbuster film.

If you’ve already seen the superhero movies out right now and you’re looking for something visually beautiful and full of action, this is the movie for you. If you prefer your action movies with at least some semblance of a plot, then you might want to avoid this one.

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