TOTAL RECALL: The Battle Of Yesterday And Today | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Monday, 6 August 2012

TOTAL RECALL: The Battle Of Yesterday And Today

Have you seen the new TOTAL RECALL yet? You can check out my review here, as well as the original 1990 version right here. Despite all the heavily-marketed promotion, the new TOTAL RECALL was inferior compared to Paul Verhoeven's version in many ways. In fact, the reportedly $138 million-budgeted sci-fi blockbuster just opened to an estimated $26 million in the first three days at the U.S. box-office -- a considerably disappointed amount of grosses. Anyway, here's my analysis of the good and the bad between the original TOTAL RECALL and this new version right below.

1. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER vs. COLIN FARRELL AS DOUGLAS QUAID/HAUSER

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER


THE GOOD: He's certainly at the top peak here, delivering a hugely entertaining and gleeful performance who is especially good when quips lots of memorable one-liners. (e.g. "Consider this a divorce")

THE BAD: Well, if it's for nitpicking purpose, his role as Douglas Quaid wasn't actually intended that way if you look at Philip K. Dick's short story. Instead his role here is obviously tailor-made to fit his iconic persona.

COLIN FARRELL


THE GOOD: As Douglas Quaid, he looks convincing enough as an everyman kind of role trapped in an unlikely situation. And you can say his role is somewhat faithful to Philip K. Dick's short story.

THE BAD: Okay, so Colin Farrell is hardly a box-office draw if compared to Schwarzenegger. But whichever way it is, Farrell's acting here is noticeably lackluster. He looks constipated throughout the movie and doesn't displays the certain kind of enthusiasm that makes his character all the more interesting to watch for.

2. SHARON STONE vs. KATE BECKINSALE AS LORI

SHARON STONE


THE GOOD: She is perfectly cast here as the bitchy Lori. Nuff' said.

THE BAD: Hmm... Her role is already that perfect, so what more can I say?

KATE BECKINSALE

  
THE GOOD: Like Stone, Kate Beckinsale plays the bitchy role to perfection here, even though this is the first time we see her tackled a villainous role.

THE BAD: Well, other than replicating Stone's bitchy persona successfully, there's nothing surprising in her role here.

3. RACHEL TICOTIN AND JESSICA BIEL AS MELINA

RACHEL TICOTIN


THE GOOD: She is convincing enough as the kick-ass Melina

THE BAD: None

JESSICA BIEL


THE GOOD: Same as Rachel Ticotin, she is just as good as a kick-ass Melina.

THE BAD: None.

4. RONNY COX vs. BRYAN CRANSTON AS COHAAGEN

RONNY COX


THE GOOD: He's really good when comes to play despicable villain. And a memorable one, too.

THE BAD: None

BRYAN CRANSTON


THE GOOD: He's an inspired choice...

THE BAD: ... and he's also criminally underused as well. His villainous role is so lame he's simply forgettable.

5. PAUL VERHOEVEN vs. LEN WISEMAN IN DIRECTING

PAUL VERHOEVEN


THE GOOD: His trademark of sex and outrageous violence is all intact here, plus he really knows how to have a lot of fun with enough wits and also he's smart enough not to take things seriously.

THE BAD: For purist who have read Philip K. Dick's short story, Verhoeven's version is a far cry from being faithful to the source material.

LEN WISEMAN


THE GOOD: He knows how to direct a summer-movie blockbuster loaded with considerable amount of guilty-pleasure moments.

THE BAD: He remains floundered when comes to storytelling and characters development. Till now, he's all style but no substance.

6. THE SETTING

MARS


THE GOOD: The combination of miniature sets and special effects are admirable at that time.

THE BAD: By today's standard, the effects in 1990's TOTAL RECALL looks dated.

FUTURISTIC CITY OF "THE COLONY" AND "UNITED FEDERATION OF BRITAIN"


THE GOOD: The elaborate setting here is quite a sight to behold.

THE BAD: Nothing original about the setting here, as it shamelessly rip off from BLADE RUNNER, MINORITY REPORT and I, ROBOT.

7. THE ACTION

TOTAL RECALL (1990)

  
THE GOOD: Despite all the gleefully over-the-top violence rather extreme for a major movie blockbuster, the action are surprisingly fun and compulsively watchable. Not to mention it has that muscular vibe into it.

THE BAD: For some people, the action might proves unnecessarily violent.

TOTAL RECALL (2012)

  
THE GOOD: Director Len Wiseman knows action, and he delivers here with an equal flair. The hover chase and the catfight between Lori and Melina are among the prime examples.

THE BAD: Despite occasional flashes of brilliance in term of action, there are tends to be repetitive here and I must say, rather generic.

8. THE PLOT

TOTAL RECALL (1990)

THE GOOD: Fast-paced and relentless enough to keep one entertained from start till the end.

THE BAD: Skimpy, lack of narrative thrust and little substance.

TOTAL RECALL (2012)

THE GOOD: Equally fast-paced and has all the necessary elements of a typical summer-movie blockbuster.

THE BAD: Patchy in places, and despite some of the makeovers, nothing much is changed between this one and the original version -- even without the Mars setting.

9. JERRY GOLDSMITH vs. HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS IN MUSIC SCORE

JERRY GOLDSMITH


THE GOOD: His orchestral music score is thunderous and epic enough to earn this as among the most memorable soundtrack ever heard for a major movie blockbuster.

THE BAD: None.

HARRY GREGSON-WILLIAMS


THE GOOD: None

THE BAD: His electronic score is so typical as if he goes auto-pilot composing the new music score for this movie here.

OVERALL:

If you are going to remake a genre classic like TOTAL RECALL, fancy gadgets and look-at-me filmmaking style alone isn't enough to set the new version apart. But of course, it's nothing surprising anyway especially Hollywood often fails to capitalize the original success with a new version.

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