Total Recall (2012)
2012 Columbia Pictures. Directed by Len Wiseman.
Running time: 118 minutes. PG13.
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel
Helm: This was a very good movie. Go see it.
Mathew: It was okay, and I think you should probably see it, but you should know that it was no 1990 Total Recall.
Helm: That is a large part of why this was a good movie.
Mathew: What the hell are you talking about?
Helm: This version was intelligent, well crafted, well acted, tightly paced, emotionally engaging and did not have to rely on stupid one-liners and over the top gore to make up for vile miscasting, staggeringly bad performances, awful design sensibility and idiotic storytelling.
Mathew: Wait. What?
Helm: The 1990 version of Total Recall, which you forced me to watch the other night, is a terrible movie. Would that I could vomit! Sharon Stone's performance alone is enough to make one retch. The 2012 version, on the other hand, is quite good.
Mathew: You are such a total tool! The 1990 version is awesome and the 2012 version is just pretty good. I mean, the effects are really cool and the chicks are super hot... and the fight scenes are great... oh, and The Fall is a cool idea...But the movie totally suffers from a terminal case of not being the 1990 version!
Helm: The 1990 version was nearly as lame as you continue to be.
Mathew: You're kidding, right?
Helm: You are suggesting that the 1990 version of Total Recall comes nowhere near your level of lameness? Yes, you are probably correct.
Mathew: That's not-- Look, what about that bit in the 1990 version where Arnold has to pull that huge, glowing red ball out of his nose? What about the mutants with the wormy-brain-faces? What about the giant alien artifact? What about the crazy eyeball bulging stuff? What about that scene on the escalator when Arnold uses that guy as a human shield and he gets blasted like a thousand times and the blood goes splattering all over everything? Classic Verhoeven!
Helm: And all examples of why the original Total Recall sucked wind so powerfully. My issues with that movie began with the casting of Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is supposed to be surprising that the main character could be a secret agent. That's part of the whole premise. What is surprising about that huge, muscle-bound warrior being a capable agent? Nothing.
Mathew: Part of the whole premise? The whole premise was watching Arnold bash his way through bad guys on Mars. It's supposed to be fun. The 2012 Total Recall was dreary and downbeat. There's not even any Mars in it! That was like a major thing, even in the original story.
Helm: Do not speak to me of the original story.
Mathew: The 2012 version totally missed the sense of humor of the original short story that the 1990 version so deftly captured.
Helm: I appreciate the sense of humor of the original short story, but the 1990 movie was no more accurate to the short story than the 2012 movie. As each claims, they were merely inspired by We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. I would have to say that the 2012 movie holds more to the spirit of the short story, while the 1990 version has much more to do with Paul Verhoeven's strange penchant for completely misinterpreting science fiction classics so that his films wind up meaning the exact opposite of what the author intended!
Mathew: Dude. Are you referencing Starship Troopers? Because that's totally not relevant here. And don't you even try to pretend to be an expert on Philip K. Dick or Paul Verhoeven! I was watching Verhoeven movies for three whole decades that you spent languishing in the clutches of that evil undead lich thing, probably without even a television. And I've been a fan of Dick since I was a boy.
Five Flaming Swords!!
Three Flaming Swords!!
Helm: It is too easy. I will let that slide.
Mathew: What are you babbling about now?