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Old January 3 2013, 02:40 AM   #96
stj
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Re: Total Recall - Reviews, Grading, and duiscussions, SPOILERS

Arnold and his one-liners haven't kept me enthralled. Nonetheless, when I caught Total Recall on Redbox, I didn't enjoy it as much. But for me the moment I lost commitment was in the remake's version of the Roy Brocksmith scene. In the original, Brocksmith's character is sweating because he's in fear of his life if he fails to convince Schwarzenegger. In a stroke of poetic justice it gives him away. In the remake, Farrell somehow just knows.

When the hero's most vital decision, the one that cuts closest into his fears of being a spy in peril of his life versus being a man completely deceived and unmanned by his wife, just comes out of the script, my investment in the character really falls apart. Say what you will about Arnold, they at least wrote the scene where he too was really sweating it. Then Arnold resolved it on his own, in what was his biggest feat of the movie. All the rest were just hijinks, that was the one that really mattered. Or at least, that's the way I felt. When it came time for Quaid to decide he wanted to remain Quaid, the people who remade the movie couldn't care either.

Also, by the end the minuscule robot army invades through an easily destroyed beachhead. There hasn't been an on screen mob of military morons like this since the Founders tried to invade through a wormhole they didn't control. If you're going to short out the real drama then you need at least to have the melodramatic "conflict" between genuine foes. These clowns were pretty much doomed to fail. There's no big thrill in seeing a man beat up on losers.
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