Last Updated on Thursday, 02 August 2012 10:16 Posted by Clash Friday, 03 August 2012 01:53
Film And DVD Reviews by Phil Boatwright
Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Bill Nighy, Jessica Biel. Columbia Pictures. 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 who 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 – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen, the leader of the free world – 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 – Great Brittan and Australia. But now the rich folk have androids to do their heavy lifting, so the poorer folk aren’t 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.
REVIEW: The remake is better, that’s 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 I’ve seen in a movie. If you haven’t become blasé about sci-fi visuals, then you’ll still be astonished by the look of this film. It’s Blade Runner on steroids.
Two other strong positives: Colin Farrell’s intense performance (it’s 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 back seat 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 God’s name or Christ’s 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, that’s 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 you’ve ever seen) since Bullitt. But suddenly, as with most of the action filmmakers that depend on the need to outdo the most recent action film, these tumultuous sequences become, well, boring. There’s just too many of them.
There’s obviously a built-in audience who feed on fast and furious action, a following that don’t necessarily look for meaning so much as numbing. I’d say this is their film. For now.
PG-13 (a couple of crude sexual comments; over 40 obscenities, plus several minor expletives; eight profane uses of God’s name or Christ’s; in one scene, the guy says “Jesus” to which the lady says,””Yeah, it’s unbelievable;” I fear that for a generation of filmgoers and makers, that’s the only purpose for Christ, to verbally relieve tension; 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; 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; a brief shot of a topless woman; topless may be a misnomer as the chick has three breasts; who has time to use stimulants in this film?)
Running Time: 110 minutes Intended Audience: Very mature teens and up
Phil Boatwright celebrates 25 years of writing about Hollywood from a Christian perspective. Besides providing a monthly column for Baptist Press, he reviews films for www.previewonline.org. He also is a regular contributor to "The World and Everything In it," a weekly radio program from WORLD News Group, which also publishes WORLD Magazine.
For information about Phil Boatwright, go to moviereporter.com.
Profanity – God’s name followed by a curse or the abusive use of Christ’s name
Obscenity – a swear word, indecent language
Expletive – minor curse words such as damn or hell
Crudity – vulgar, often coarse situations or dialogue dealing with bodily functions
Adult Subject Matter – situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children