Published on August 31st, 2012 | by jessie lowe0
Total Recall remake isn’t actually that bad
The word re-make often implies a great deal of pressure. Re–inventing and adapting a classic could be risky, and often sends fans of the original marching to find errors to bring down the film.
Luckily for Director Len Wiseman, the 1990 version of Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, didn’t appear to be a favourite amongst the masses, so his choice to move the film in a slightly different (and greatly appreciated) direction shouldn’t cause too much fuss.
With the 2012 amendments come a more believable, yet still categorically sci-fi, based plot. The location of Earth instead of Mars, swapping of mutants for stormtrooper-esque robots and the complete removal of an alien baby leader surfacing out of a man’s stomach, allowed for a smoother running and more serious take to be adapted. Unfortunately for the original, Schwarzenegger too is not missed. Colin Farrell’s portrayal of the leading man is much more relatable and enjoyable to watch. Gone are the cheesy, short, quizzical one liners Schwarzenegger so commonly enjoys; instead, they are replaced by an actual human character, who shows emotions instead of dramatic poses and who the audience can get involved with as the leading man.
The possibility that the entire plot can in actuality be a dream that the character of Douglas Quaid is participating in is a frustrating concept. However, you find yourself accepting that this is not the case and you are in fact watching a former spy regain his memories of a previous life. There are only flickers of doubt, which are necessary to the plot and so the prospect of this annoyance is forgotten and only replanted when it is in fact needed. It may help that this sci-fi dream-like confusion is accompanied by action sequences and explosions being thrown at you left, right and centre. While at times these to seem to go on slightly longer than required, and the fast pace does make it difficult on occasion to distinguish between Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel’s character similarities, the play on gravity throughout creates an interesting and dynamic visual spectacle.
Farrell, it seems, is also made to front the action-packed madness that streamlines this film. There is no doubting that he would be favoured by the majority over Schwarzenegger, since on the whole he simply creates a more likable and sincere character. Whilst Farrell owns his character, unluckily that’s not really the case for Kate Beckinsale. Her take on the role is by no means bad, but it’s forgettable. The only real positive is that she, along with Biel, obviously looks great throughout. They hold their own during the fight scenes.
Although this film has been plugged as a remake, it should be viewed as its own interpretation of a story. It is by no means a copy, and with only a few strikingly similar scenes it takes a different direction to the original. With governmental hierarchy and the unfulfilled lives of the not so privileged a more realistic and relatable groundwork is created for the basis of this sci-fi plot. Although you may not be filled with emotion throughout, and it’s probably not going to leave you feeling wowed or exposed to a scenario you have never previously experienced, it is enjoyable and achieves what you’d expect, with Farrell holding together the entirety of the film.