Commentary

August 10, 2012

In Theaters

Fly Over: “Total Recall”

A decent shot at the champ

by Jayson Burns

As with many other memorable Arnold Schwarzenegger films, the 1990 sci-fi action movie “Total Recall” is for one reason or another, held in high esteem. Could it be possible that this remake starring Colin Farrell might actually make people forget about the original? No. Of course not. Still, 2012’s “Total Recall” manages to hold its own as a downright decent and enjoyable piece of science fiction.

The film takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where living space on the planet has been reduced to the The United Federation of Britain and The Colony (modern day Australia). The people of The Colony are forced to take a massive underground elevator to the UFB in order to find work. One such man is Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), who is beginning to tire of his daily routine. He decides to go to Rekall, a company that provides people with realistic memories of their fantasies. To Quaid’s surprise, he discovers that his “super spy” memory is actually the real one and that he holds top-secret information that could help The Colony’s resistance movement. With the UFB on his tail, he teams up with resistance fighter Melina (Jessica Biel) to sort out this information and to help him uncover who he really is.

Minus the big red planet and mutants, the plot is fairly close to the original but honestly did some things better. The scene where Quaid is being told by his friend Harry (Bookeem Woodbine) that he’s still at Rekall, for example, has much more weight to it than with the President of Rekall (Roy Brocksmith) in the 1990 version. And Hammond (Dylan Smith), who gives Quaid the briefcase in the original and was never seen again, actually comes back in a scene I didn’t quite expect. Other things were done much better in the original, however, like the reveal of who Quaid really is and the whole resistance plot entirely.

The acting in “Total Recall” was serviceable despite some hiccups (figuratively) here and there. Farrell had no chance to outshine Schwarzenegger as Quaid, but he still effectively portrays the character as a desperate and confused average guy who gradually taps into his secret agent skills. Conversely, Biel made Melina a little more likable than her original counterpart. Kate Beckinsale has a few wooden moments, but she still manages to make the combination of Quaid’s wife a suitable foil for the protagonists. And much to my relief, Bryan Cranston made the villain Cohaagen less of a cartoon character, even if he had just about as much screen time as Ronny Cox.

Visuals are very important for science fiction, and “Total Recall” rises to the challenge. Only in a few instances did I get distracted by something fake looking, and the synthetic soldiers looked “Star Wars” worthy. New technology such as a grenade-like device that releases little cameras and an electro-magnetic lasso firing rifle (Burns’ ™) were also pretty interesting, though I found the lack of a hologram projector very disappointing.

As entertaining as this remake was, I just don’t see it as ever being accepted as the “Total Recall” since the original has already captured so many people with its violent and admittedly cheesy charm. However, I do think the creators of the original know this, judging by all those nods to the original (“Two weeks”).

“Total Recall” is rated PG-13.



About the Author

Jayson Burns
Jayson Burns
Hoping to one day be a writer, Jayson Burns studies English and journalism at Northern Arizona University. He’s a big fan of science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres of all media and challenges anyone to recite more Star Wars quotes than he can. Jayson Burns would also like to point out that this is one of the few times he’ll ever refer to himself in the third person. Jayson is serving as an intern in 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs.


All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy photo

Airmen reach terminal velocity

Courtesy photo Second Lt. Tanya Wren, 56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs Community Relations chief, takes in the expansive view after the chute was pulled at 3,000 feet. Luke Air Force Base Airmen were chosen to tandem jump with ...
 
 

Planning for your future equals success

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” ~ William Arthur Ward Success does not happen accidentally, it takes detailed planning and a vision of the future. I remember the day before I left for basic military training, I tried to imagine what my future...
 
 

Tuition assistance — a great benefit

In my opinion, tuition assistance is one of the best benefits that we as active-duty military members have available. During my 17 years in the Air Force, I have seen this benefit increase from 75 percent of tuition being paid to 100 percent. Additionally, most of us experienced this benefit being eliminated for a short...
 

 
Senior Airman Marcy Copeland

Military children celebrated for courage, resilience

Senior Airman Marcy Copeland Col. Jeremy Sloane, 56th Fighter Wing vice commander, signs the Month of the Military Child proclamation April 1 at the Luke Air Force Base Child Development Center. The Month of the Military Child ...
 
 

News Briefs April 17, 2015

LOSC The Luke Officers Spouses Club invites spouses of officers to play bingo and have lunch at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Club Five Six. For more information or to RSVP, go to LukeOSCReservations@gmail.com. Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. April 30 in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel...
 
 

Salutes and Awards

Air Force Reserve Command announces major selects The following 944th Fighter Wing captains have been selected for promotion to major: 944th Fighter Wing Christopher Bisdnack 307th Fighter Squadron Jason Gentry 944th Force Support Squadron Derrick Young 944th Medical Squadron Jeffrey Cohen and Craig Lussier 46 graduate ALS class 15-3 The 56th Fighter Wing Airman Leadership...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin