Total Recall (2012)
It’s not a Bad film, in terms of technique, visuals, action. It looks…nice. It’s Blade Runner AND Minority Report, and those were both visually arresting films, so it’s cribbing from good stuff.
When people are chased, you’re into it. When people are shot at, you lean in a bit. It doesn’t look cheap, it doesn’t move cheap.
There’s a tremendous amount of inappropriate lens flare. This probably bothers me more than it does you. It’s insulting, you cannot trick me by showing me lens flare every twenty seconds, I do not think you’re shooting in 1973, I am not fooled into believing this is somehow Real. Cut it out, silly director.
So yeah, the production design budget? Well spent.
But boy, your eyes are seeing it, and your mind does not for a single second care.
Is Colin Farrell a good actor? No idea. Really can’t tell from this film, because he really doesn’t do much in the movie. There is perhaps 2 full minutes where he’s asked to portray some type of emotion.
(The movie is just under two hours, by the by.)
Kate Beckensdale, she does a lot of acting in the movie. Acting ANGRY. She’s angry for 99% of her screen time. She also fights a lot. This movie must’ve been very cathartic for her. Just letting it all out. She does it well.
But who cares. Because there are no characters in this movie. There are action figures moving around sets. The plot…okay, look, Philip K. Dick? The dude what wrote the source material? HE WAS CRAZY. Crazy in the best possible way, creatively speaking. His stories were so much about reality and duality and perception and subjectivity and people. Also satellites in space that were kind of Jesus and promised to save humanity.
This movie is about Nothing. Say what you will about the original, it at least attempted to convey Dick’s themes. It was goofy, but it also rightly kept in the Fun and the Weird of Dick’s work.
This movie is not fun. It is not weird. It felt, the entire time, like a wax figure based on the original. Shiny and stiff and obviously fake and inferior and what the hell are wax figures all about, anyway? This movie makes you realize how weird a wax museum is.
Lots of times, remakes attempt to improve on the original, or play off of it, or…something. This movie isn’t attempting anything. And that is the true crime. It doesn’t really fail, because it wasn’t really trying. It’s like comparing a piece of blank paper to a book. Not a single person involved in this film, if the film itself is any indication, was at all concerned with entertaining an audience.
It is as close to a visual wikipedia entry as I have ever seen.
Wait, no, that’s not exactly true, because sometimes wikipedia entries are damned interesting.
This is as close to a visual IMDB entry as I have ever seen.
Yeah, that’s it.
Also, seriously, what’s the deal with wax museums?
Wow, even worse than I expected then. Thanks for the warning. And please keep writing the movie reviews, Lou. They are more entertaining than the movies.