Director: Len Wiseman
Writers: Kurt Wimmer (screenplay/screen story), Mark Bomback (screenplay), Ronald Shusett (screen story), Dan O'Bannon (screen story), Jon Povill (screen story)
Running time: 118 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12
UK Release date: 29th August 2012
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 19th May 2013.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE UNINTENTIONAL SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This film was never going to be loved unfortunately; a remake of such an iconic story is never going to find favour with its many fans. Personally, I tried to watch it with an open mind even though I appreciate that’s quite difficult having seen (& loved) the 1990 original ‘Arnie’ version many times; let’s say at least I tried. Action packed throughout; heavy on the GCI but also some excellent stunt work thrown in, I have to say I quite enjoyed it. I’ll tell you more after this very brief summary.
In a future where most of the Earth’s surface is inert, there are only two habitable regions; The United Federation of Britain or UFB, and the Colony (Australia). Transportation between the two is achieved by ‘The Lift’; a kind of massive elevator that goes through the Earth’s core. When factory worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) begins to have dreams about escaping the authorities with another woman, his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) puts it down to overwork. Douglas is more sceptical and asks his workmate, Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) about a place called Rekall who can implant memories. Harry tries to put him off but Douglas is determined and goes anyway. This is where it really begins to kick off; it seems there’s already an implant in his mind. His wife is not who she seems; the woman in his dreams, Melina (Jessica Biel) is real and working for the resistance leader Matthias (Bill Nighy). There’s also a conspiracy that goes right up to the President, Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston). But can he figure out what’s real and what’s been implanted?
Very heavy on the special effects, which are all very well done by the way, this film looks great. The narrative, although quite well known to me, was told in a unique enough for me to accept it as a new take on the same story. The performances were all very good, particularly Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale. I just wish they had made Jessica Biel look a bit more different to Kate Beckinsale; they look too similar, a different hair colour would have helped! On the downside, I did find the premise a little weak and that did kind of spoil it for me. It does look very spectacular though and for those who are fans of the original; yes, there a triple breasted hooker to be found. Worth a look; yes… Unless you’re a die-hard Arnie fan.
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 6.7/10.
IMDb Score: 6.3/10 (based on 115,971 votes when this review was written).
MetaScore: 43: (Based on 41 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 47/100 (based on 99,681 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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