Movie review: Total Recall

Grade: C

If you’re expecting a movie with heaps of action scenes then by all means go see *Total Recall*. If you’re looking for some really good Phillip K. Dick mind benders then just save your money and wait for the DVD. The story seems to mostly gloss over the mind bending aspects and focuses on a weak excuse for conflict so that it can set up the next long action scene.

In fact I don’t recall seeing a movie that had this much action in it. I would guess that of the 1 hour and 50 minutes of movie time at least 45 minutes of it was spent on action. Lots of long sequences of shooting and fighting and running. The action itself was decent but nothing spectacular. Good special effects, not great.

Kate Beckinsale did a really good job with some her action scenes. She has a few moments of ballerina like grace as she twists and turns and punches. However, she just doesn’t quite have it in her to pull off the bad girl killer that she is supposed to portray when she’s not fighting.

Colin Farrell was good as the lead. He does a good job of being intense and sincere.

Jessica Biel didn’t have many lines to work with but what she did have she did well with.

The big question is: how does the original TR compare to remake TR. For all of the cheesiness of the original it was fun and didn’t always take itself too seriously. But what really makes the original better than the remake is the performance by Ronny Cox, the original Cohaagen, and Michael Ironside as Richter. Both brought a level of desirableness that is completely missing from the remake.

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