Movie Review: Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall 2012  Total Recall is a remake of the 1990 science fiction-action film of the same name.   Giving perhaps the best performance of his acting career to date, Colin Farrell stars as factory worker Douglas Quaid, a role held by Arnold Schwarzenegger in the previous movie.   The setting is in the distant future, after a catastrophic global conflict involving the genocidal use of chemical weapons has destroyed modern civilization.    Here, a newer and technologically advanced society has evolved, the human world being divided into two sectors: the United Federation and the Colony.    Urban sprawl and overcrowding are present everywhere, while the Earth’s crust has been penetrated by an extensive subterranean transportation network, much like a global subway system.    Terrorist bombings against such civilian targets as public transit systems are commonplace, while tensions between these two geopolitical sectors remain high.   Anyways, Douglas Quaid seeks out a business known as Rekall.   Unsatisfied with his personal life, which seems rather strange since Kate Beckinsale plays his wife in this story, Douglas secretly fantasizes about being a covert operative.   The staff at Rekall promise to deliver on this personal fantasy, hooking him into a computerized virtual reality machine and injecting some drug, in liquid form, into his bloodstream.    From this point onwards, it is not quite clear if the events unfolding throughout the rest of the movie are actually happening or if they are fabricated by Rekall.    These events are often violent, involving high tech shootouts with automatic weapons, hand to hand combat and very loud explosions.    His wife turns out to be an elite covert operative.   Armed with a P-90 submachine gun, she is assigned to assassinate Quaid as he is now believed to be an agent for the anti-government resistance movement.  During this nightmarish ordeal, he joins forces with Melina, a covert operative fighting for the resistance who is played by Jessica Biel. The fight scene between Kate Beckinsale’s and Jessica Biel’s characters, essentially a re-enactment from the 1990 movie, is not nearly as intense as that between Sharon Stone and Rachel Ticotin.   In that story, Ticotin’s resistance fighter delivered a visually amazing spinning roundhouse kick to Stone’s character’s midsection.  The main critique of this movie is that Ms. Biel is woefully underused here.   She is extraordinarily athletic in real life, her physical training activities through the years including yoga, running, weight training, resistance training, bicycle riding, swimming, ice skating, rollerblading, archery, and martial arts.   Jessica Biel is also an experienced surfer and a professional SCUBA diver (advanced certification, deep sea and wreck diving).   In other words, she could easily be a trained operative for real if she wanted to be one.    Setting aside its drawbacks, Total Recall is definitely worth seeing at the theater by anyone who appreciates movies that feature very attractive and physically capable women stealing the scene from the central character. (Article by Freelance Writer B.E. Shibley)

 

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