05 November 2012

Total Recall (Len Wiseman, 2012, US)

I think it's borderline hilarious the way people compare this to the original as though the original film were any good. For me, the Schwarzenegger film is hard to watch, since the only redeeming qualities I found in it were Sharon Stone's shoulder pads. It's silly and the special effects are embarrassing as is everything about the plot and the acting, pretty much.

Given that I don't hold the 1988 version in very high regard, despite my sometimes affection for Paul Verhoeven, it should come as no surprise that I found this version superior. I mean, I would certainly rather spend two hours with Colin Farrell than Arnold Schwarzenegger. In theory, I prefer Sharon Stone to Kate Beckinsale or Jessica Biel, but while I found Beckinsale a little flat, I liked Biel in the film, though her role was slightly limited. In this film we follow Farrell, who may or may not be a spy in what may or may not be reality. I prefer to think the movie deals with reality, improbable as it sometimes may be, because if it isn't really, the logic of the film is severely flawed. I like the themes of this movie relating to stark divisions among classes and the exploitation of workers. It seems to bear reminding that the workers paradise that seemed to emerge in the west in the latter half of the 20th century was likely an aberration which is now dissolving into the mists.

The film was generally engaging and sort of energetic and sort of compelling, but for me there was just something flat about it. Maybe it was like listening to someone else tell you their dreams.

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