Archive for the ‘Len Wiseman’ Category

Recalling Visual Clues

Total Recall

Farrell losing a sense of reality

The 21st century version of the sci-fi action thriller Total Recall is another cinematic retelling of a Philip K. Dick story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, following on from Blade Runner (1982), Minority Report (2002), Paycheck (2003), Next (2007) and  The Adjustment Bureau (2011) and this time features Colin Farrell in the lead role of Douglas Quaid aka Cole Hauser a role first made famous by Arnold Schwarzeneggar in the original Paul Verhoeven garish version of a Mars set Total Recall released in 1990 featuring the voluptuous Sharon Stone as Lori and Rachel Ticotin as Melina.

Arnie's version

In this version of Total Recall, directed by Len Wiseman, the earth is mostly uninhabitable through devastating chemical warfare leaving only the United Federation of Britain (sections of the former UK) and The Colony (known now as Australia). Workers from the Colony are transported via a rapid underground train, a revolutionized Eurostar to the UFB an overpopulated simulacrum of late 21st century London where they work on production lines producing Synthetics.

On the journey the hero Douglas Quaid is reading Ian Fleming’s novel The Spy Who Loved Me, a visual clue to how the rest of the film turns out. As is happens Douglas’s charming yet lethal wife Lori played by the sexy Kate Beckinsale is not who she appears to be and through an adventure which ignites when Douglas decides to give Rekall a try to break out of his industrial existence. Rekall is a drug induced manufactured memory enhancer whereby memories can be implanted into a person’s frontal lobe and people can cherish memories based on fabricated experiences.

Total Recall for the first 45 minutes is absolutely thrilling with lots of action and stunning production values with Wiseman clearly influenced by the iconic Blade Runner and similar sci-fi films with large awe-inspiring sets channeling a gritty version of I, Robot and of course Minority Report. The best scene is the chase sequence in the UFB with Farrell and Jessica Biel as Melina a fellow Colony freedom fighter who handles a fantastic uber-hovercraft on a high-tech multi-layered speedway which makes the M25 look like Noddy’s picnic. Bryan Cranston appears as the villain Cohaagen and Bill Nighy as the mysterious post-nuclear freedom fighter Matthias.

Where this version of Total Recall fails is the lack of character development and backstory which is made up for by the endless action sequences which detract from making Total Recall as brilliant and thought provoking as Blade Runner was 30 years ago. The film appears forced in places and action takes precedence over plot in a version of reality which could have done with more measured virtual clues and less bullets. See Total Recall if you are a hardcore Sci-Fi fan and don’t compare it to Paul Verhoeven’s garish and sensational 1990 version especially if viewers are dedicated fans of Philip K. Dick’s cinematized tales dealing with altered reality, memory and virtual personalities.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
September 2018
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
  • Bob Bakish Talks Consolidation, Working With Streamers
    Bob Bakish batted away questions about a potential merger with CBS on Tuesday and instead doubled down on his strategy for growing Viacom, talking up Paramount’s TV production business and revealing that MTV is making a soon-to-be-announced reality show for one of the major streamers. Bakish, speaking at the Royal Television Society London Conference, would […]
    Stewart Clarke
  • Endemol Shine Netherlands Shuffles Senior Management
    Endemol Shine Group has appointed Boudewijn Beusmans to the position of CEO of Endemol Shine Netherlands as the company’s current co-CEO Iris Boelhouwer is stepping down at the end of October. Beusmans, who was running Endemol Shine Netherlands with Boelhouwer for the last 3 years, will be taking the full reins of the banner as […]
    elskes
  • Peter Smith to Head MBC Studios, Aims to Kickstart Saudi Productions
    Former president of NBC Universal International Peter Smith has been appointed head of MBC Studios the new production unit of top Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group. The new MBC unit will be making a major push into high-end Arabic scripted content in a move meant to help kickstart a film and TV industry in […]
    nvivarelli
  • Albert Lee Appointed Head of Hong Kong Film Festival
    Veteran industry executive Albert Lee has been appointed executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival. He takes over from Roger Garcia and will be in post from Nov. 1 Lee was most recently CEO of Emperor Motion Pictures, the Hong Kong and China-based studio and talent management group . Before that he worked […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Feng Xiaogang Cut From ‘Ash Is Purest White’ as Fan Bingbing Scandal Spreads
    Chinese auteur Jia Zhangke’s drama “Ash is Purest White” will get its theatrical release this Friday in China – but with cuts that may reflect the sensitivity of the current political-cultural climate in the Middle Kingdom. The film, which follows the turbulent lives of a gangster couple over a 17-year period, was screened at the […]
    Patrick Frater
  • Article
    Over the past few years, several low-cost carriers have stepped up to offer competition and cheapest prices to customers looking to cut down their monthly bills. Tags: 2gmhass90