Movie Review: 'Total Recall' Offers Maximum Noise, Minimum Sense
The remake of the 1990 cult classic is action-packed but falls short.
"Total Recall" is playing at Gateway Cinemas 12 in Bethlehem in the BigD Experience at 1:00, 4:00, 7:00 and 9:40 today, Friday, Aug. 3, 2012. Regular digital showings are at 12:40, 3:40, 6:40, 9:20 and 12:00 a.m.
Seeking an escape from his frustrating life, Quaid visits Rekall, a company that can change dreams into real memories. However, when things go wrong, Quaid suddenly finds himself a hunted man and the line between fantasy and reality begins to blur.
A. O. Scott, writing for The New York Times, says the remake's premise seeds an interesting economic and political allegory, but the filmmakers go for maximum noise and minimum sense.
"The movie has a lot of chasing, shouting and fighting, carried out in crowded, overscale frames without much regard for either action-film effectiveness or narrative coherence," Scott writes. "So much information is thrown at you in such a haphazard fashion that your ability to care dwindles along with your willingness to enjoy any of it."
Karen Martin of InArkansas.com describes the film as “bleak, brutal, and stuffed with questionable science. “
“There's some cool stuff, like hovercraft cars, a scrappy girly fight, dystopian sets that resemble those in Fritz Lang's Metropolis, a flasher who will bring back memories of the original film, and Cranston, who can portray an evil genius like nobody else,” Martin wrote. “That's not enough to maintain a 118-minute movie. You might not be bored while you're there, but as far as recall goes, you probably won't remember much about it after it's over.” Read Martin’s full review here.
Here is what other critics had to say about “Total Recall”:
“After a rousing setup, this visually striking remake falls back much too heavily on its action roots, with one chase scene after another and another. After a while, it's tedious.” — Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News
“Instead of getting a thinking man's film, we get a glorified chase film, one girded not so much by deep thoughts or clever plotting but by lens flares, holograms and other such visual razzle-dazzle.” — Mike Scott, The Times-Picayune
The movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity and language.
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