Total Recall (2012)

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy, Jessica Biel. Sc-Fi action. Directed by Len Wiseman. 8/3/12

FILM SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he's got a beautiful wife whom he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his dull existence - real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police Ė controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen, the leader of the free world Ė Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter to find the head of the underground resistance and stop Cohaagen. The line between fantasy and reality gets blurred and the fate of his world hangs in the balance as Quaid discovers his true identity, his true love, and his true fate.

There are only two colonies left in the world Ė Great Britain and Australia. But now the rich folk have androids to do their heavy lifting, so the poorer folk arenít needed. This guy Cohaagen is bent on eliminating them altogether. But the factory worker is a man of the people, a killing machine able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, so he and an equally talented bottom kicker fight back, restoring the world to those who deserve it.

PREVIEW REVIEW: The remake is better, thatís the word from everyone I spoke with after leaving the theater. And I must say that you can see the entire budget up on the screen, for it contains the greatest amount of special effects Iíve seen in a movie. If you havenít become blasť about sci-fi visuals, then youíll still be astonished by the look of this film. Itís Blade Runner on steroids.

Two other strong positives: Colin Farrellís intense performance (itís almost like he believes this stuff) and the beauty of his two rather athletic female costars. God and their parents did a fine job in their construction (and anyone else who helped).

As for the story, it was a bit difficult to follow. Though based on a story by legendary sci-fi author Philip K. Dick, the screenwriters Mark Bomback, James Vanderbilt, and Kurt Wimmer have updated the tale, which means everybody swears a lot, and story and metaphor take a backseat to tons of chases and action sequences.

This may be the film where audiences finally side with me concerning the abuse and lack of creativity shown by writer, director and cast when it comes to the use of crude expletives used to relay frustration and other emotions. Here, everyone, including the beautiful ladies, use the s-word alone a total, as I recall, of over thirty times. The movie is less than two hours and most of it consists of chases and beatings, followed by heavy breathing and exposition, and capped by the utterance of the s- word every time they get frustrated. And they get frustrated a lot.

So, we have a total of 42 obscenities and 8 profane uses of Godís name or Christís in an hour-and-fifty-minute film. That is a pretty high ratio of objectionable language for a film that boasts far more action than dialogue.

Now, I admit, having a chasing army of drone-like army robots bent on your destruction is likely to cause a certain amount of consternation, but the verbalization becomes laughable. The leads are chased, catch their breath, and swear, thatís pretty much all we get from this film. Any allusion to class envy or other messages once associated with the premise pretty much get overlooked by all that action, breathing and consternation.

The chases are well choreographed, highlighted by the best arm-gripping car chase (the coolest looking hover cars youíve ever seen) since Bullitt. But suddenly, as with most action filmmakers who depend on the need to outdo the most recent action film, these tumultuous sequences become, well, boring. Thereís just too many of them.

Thereís obviously a built-in audience who feed on fast and furious action, a following that donít necessarily look for meaning so much as numbing. Iíd say this is their film. For now.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Columbia Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: A couple of crude sexual comments

Obscene Language: Over 40 obscenities, plus several minor expletives

Profanity: Eight profane uses of Godís name or Christís; in one scene, the guys says ďJesusĒ to which the lady says,ĒĒYeah, itís unbelievable;Ē I fear that for a generation of filmgoers and makers, thatís the only purpose for Christ, to verbally relieve tension.

Violence: A mix of comic book action and Indiana Jones Saturday matinee frenzy, it is one chase, martial arts battle or shootout after another. Some blood, but considering how much the leads get punched and kicked around, not so much.

Sex: We briefly see girls of the night, provocatively dressed; we see a couple in bed, the camera following the lady in her underwear as much as the actress will allow.

Nudity: A brief shot of a topless woman; topless may be a misnomer as the chick has three breasts.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Who has time to use stimulants in this film?

Other: None

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Very mature teens and up

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