Movie review: Total Recall

When my Dad told me he’d just gone to see the movie, Total Recall, I knew there was something familiar about the title – then of course he said, “it’s a re-make of the old Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, but with Colin Firth….” and I said, “What?  Pride and Prejudice guy?  Really?” – then he said, “No sorry I mean Colin Farrell…” –  suddenly I was interested….. have to admit, I can’t remember much of the old Total Recall movie – but I’m pretty certain I liked it the first time around.

So how did this new version stack up?  I was always impartial to old Arnie – so for me the casting of Colin Farrell as the not-so reluctant double agent Douglas Quaid meant I was going to like this movie from the get go.  True to its Arnie origins, Colin Farrell has beefed up for the part and for those interested,  yes you can expect lots of scenes with him without his shirt.  Directed by Len Wiseman this version has clearly borrowed from another futuristic favourite, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.    Dark and wet is the best way I can describe this film which has everything from floating cars to Thai style floating markets. 

Story-line wise this movie does veer somewhat from the original, but anyone unfamiliar with the Recall concept is likely to find it entertaining.  I have no-doubt there will be some out there who prefer the original – but I personally liked the modern touches to this movie.   

I loved it that instead of doing away with Douglas’ wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) at the outset of the movie, as they did in the original,  they made her integral to the storyline.    It is worth noting that Sharon Stone was the original Lori – and I personally think the original would have been heaps better had she remained part of the storyline. 

Beckinsale plays the “scorned-agent”  role perfectly and I loved the way she was relentless in her pursuit.   At the same time, Douglas Quaid’s love interest Melina (Jessica Biel), literally the woman of his dreams, plays his freedom fighting side-kick with exactly the right amount of  “sexy-but-demure” to appeal to the male viewers in the audience who will no doubt flock to this movie for all the sci-fi action. 

I’d have to say this is a good couples movie in that it will satisfy both the action hungry male as well as any romance seeking partner accompanying him.  The only thing I really could have done without was a repeat of the multi-breast scene – really – did we need to see that one again?  Surely they could have come-up with something better?  I’d rather forget that one thanks….


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