Total Recall (2012)

I just had a chance to watch this on DVD and I thought it was great. A lot of people dinged it because it wasn’t “funny” like the original or “as faithful” to the Philip K. Dick story (which I still have on my list so I can’t comment much there) as the 1990 movie. However, I thought the story was more believable (if you’ve seen the original, just think about how ridiculous the ending was), and the acting was much better (sure, cheesy Arnold lines were okay 20 years ago, but give me a serious sci-fi story any day). Of course, the FX were much better with today’s technology, and I thought Jessica Biel was much better than the original Melina actress. Referring to her and Kate Beckinsale as “eye candy” in many Netflix reviews is sexist and juvenile in my opinion. They both brought something to the movie, especially Kate (who definitely topped Sharon Stone, though she was good in the original movie, and Michael Ironside, who is always Michael Ironside). I’m sorry, but ever since Underworld, Kate has been kicking butt on screen, literally.

Colin Farrell was outstanding and much more believable than the buff Arnold in the Quaid / Hauser role. But surprisingly, Bryan Cranston was great as the villain Cohagen. Also Bill Nighy makes a brief appearance as Matthias the rebel leader.There were also some nice nods to the 1990 film with the three-breasted woman flash, but the better one was the woman at the terminal saying “two weeks.”

It seems like people either like this movie or hate it. If you like good sci-fi storytelling, you will like this movie. Go into it without any thought of or comparison to the 1990 movie and you’ll probably like it even more. The movie tells a good story and has good flow through it, and the ending is decent and conclusive.

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