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.


 
 

 
Pg-1-photo

Chief of staff visits Luke

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and his wife, Betty, spent time meeting with Airmen and leadership Monday at Luke Air Force Base. Welsh highlighted Airman health, wellness and quality of life activities. He also...
 
 

Mentoring fosters dreams, strengthens us

A few days ago while reading an online commander’s call, I came across an article dated Dec. 31, 2014, stating President Obama proclaimed the month of January 2015 National Mentoring Month. Although this topic is thoroughly discussed in our Air Force today, I felt compelled to write on its importance all the same. In a...
 
 

Have you joined the Air Force yet?

I enlisted into the Air Force in February of 1997. However, I didn’t join the Air Force until March of 1999. No, I’m not talking about the Delayed Enlistment Program. There was no doubt that after high school I would attend college. However, not having applied for any scholarships and realizing that I didn’t have...
 

 
Courtesy photo

Prevention training goes face-to-face

Courtesy photo Maj. Jennifer Tomlinson, Air Education and Training Command Medical Readiness Division deputy chief, serves as facilitator during the AETC Medical Services and Training directorate annual Air Force Suicide Preven...
 
 
Senior Airman
JAMES HENSLEY

Thunderbolt looks to future

Senior AirmanJAMES HENSLEY Staff Sgt. Maddie Baker, 56th Dental Squadron acting commander secretary was an Air Force Honor Guard member prior to crossing over to the dental field. As the commander’s secretary, she plays a piv...
 
 

Tuskegee Airmen commemorated

The Archer-Ragsdale Arizona Chapter of Tuskegee Airman Inc. celebrated the 2nd Annual Tuskegee Airman Commemoration Day with a wreath ceremony Wednesday at the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Air Park. The Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day is the result of legislation signed into law by former Arizona Governor Janice Brewer in 2013 and is the first such law...
 




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