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.


 
 

 
141020-SMSgt-Shelly-Bailey-8x10-DW

Path to inspirational leadership evolving skillset

Senior Master Sgt. Shelly Bailey At some point in our Air Force career we will assume a leadership role. Leadership is an ever-evolving skillset that you will continue to develop throughout the course of your career. The highes...
 
 

Bridges: build, don’t burn

Have you heard the phrase “don’t burn your bridges?” This idiom is used to describe the importance of not ending a relationship on a bad note. In this case, the relationship is your military career. For example, when you build professional relationships you are networking or laying the foundation for the building of a bridge....
 
 

Red Ribbon reminder to be drug free

Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered on Feb. 7, 1985, by Mexican drug traffickers. After the murder of Agent Camarena citizens of his hometown of Calexico, California, wore red ribbons in his honor. This marked the beginning of the oldest and most visible prevention awareness campaign in the...
 

 

Dollars and Sense

As a new government employee, you have the opportunity to save for your retirement through the Thrift Savings Plan. The TSP is similar to a 401(k) plan in the private sector. Participating in the TSP is easy. You can use the electronic version, such as EBIS or myPay, or fill out the Form TSP-1 (www.tsp.gov/PDF/formspubs/tsp-1.pdf)....
 
 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

It has been said that when you are struggling you are growing. We see this in athletic pursuits. No one achieves improvement or excellence by lounging about. Rather it is as we push our physical limits that we improve our performance. We see this in our academic endeavors. While our basic intelligence may be static...
 
 
Abraham_Lincoln_Vampire_Hunter_Cover

Fly Over: ‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter’ and ‘Gone Girl’

In bookstores: ‘Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter’ Mashup novel has bite but eventually turns to dust *Warning! This review may contain spoilers. ‘Tis the season for books, movies and TV shows featuring the scary, s...
 




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