I Rekall this being very different in the book…
Over the weekend, I actually ventured out of the house and saw a movie. I had a few choices: The new Bourne movie, Expendables 2, but I ended up seeing the remake of Total Recall. I had heard that this version was more like the book than the first movie, the book actually being a short story called “We can remember it for you, wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. I was fucking lied to. Don’t let that fool you, though. It’s also not a bad movie. Lemme esplain….no, is too much…lemme sum up…
This movie actually ran close to the previous one on many plot points. The few differences were that he stays on Earth in this one, the resistance is fighting for different reasons, and the world’s backstory is different. The “help” he gets along the way, him getting into the resistance, the “two weeks” scene, all happen in some form at the right parts of the movie. They also combined Richter with Lori, and made Kate Beckinsale the main baddie, which I must admit was rather wonderful.
Anyways, overall this wasn’t a movie that should have been a remake. The original was a sci-fi classic and didn’t need to be touched. As far as remakes go, this one can’t lay a hand on it’s source material, not even with Ms. Beckinsale running around and kicking ass in tight outfits.
“But wait”, you say, “this one is supposed to be more like the short story it’s based on!”. Well, sorry, but that’s bullshit. The short story and the movie only parallel in the very beginning. He does indeed dream of visiting Mars, goes to Rekal (sic), and pops his memory cap. He gets home, finds out this “dream” was true, and people start trying to kill him. That is where the similarities end. The book went a different direction from there, and had a really great ending. It also didn’t go much into the state of the world.
Now if you’re thinking that this movie may be shitty because of what I’ve said, think again. While it sucks when viewed as a remake and compared to the original, it’s actually a good movie. The action is good, the storyline is solid enough, and for anyone who didn’t see the original, it’d be pretty enjoyable. Truth be told, I actually did enjoy it, and I’ll probably pick up the DVD of it. My problem is that they should have made it its own movie, and not as a remake. If they changed a few things about it, we could have had something more fresh to sink our teeth into. Instead, we see a decent sci-fi movie trying to ride the coattails of the classic it’s trying to remake.
I’m guessing they tried doing what Colin Farrell helped do with Fright Night, whose remake was totally fucking awesome! Problem is, it wasn’t Mr. Farrell who made that movie awesome (although he WAS pretty awesome in it), it was none other than my favorite doctor….David Tennant!
So, to sum up, bad as a remake, good as a movie if the source material is ignored. Decide for yourselves if you’re still interested, but don’t let the bad remake part of it stop you from seeing a decent sci-fi flick.