Saturday, August 25, 2012

A couple of weeks ago two movies came out at the theaters. One was a so-called remake of an old Arnold Schwarzenegger film, called Total Recall and the other was the fourth in the series of CIA thrillers called The Bourne Legacy. Opening weekend of Total Recall was down, because it seemed as some reviewers put it, that movie-goers would rather see a new movie than a remake of an old one. I waited a bit before seeing either one, just because I was busy and I wanted to wait until the crowds died down a bit before seeing these movies. Here's what I came away with once I finally went to see both movies, just yesterday:

Total Recall
While certainly there was a movie in 1990 with the same name, it really has no similarity to the new version, other than the name and some of the basic plot. The original was a slack-jawed attempt at helping to make Arnie a bigger star than he already was and in my honest opinion, failed miserably. I have watched that movie exactly once in my life and hope to never see it again. The new version, starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel is a great sci-fi action thriller that builds a world of the future with such magnificent full-scale cities that any serious sci-fi aficionado will thrill to sit in the seats of the theater and watch the breath-taking scenes that unfold rapidly minute-by-minute and never stop for a second until the movie ends. This is a great action-packed fun film that everyone should treat themselves to, ignoring what has gone before and just center on the fact that this is Colin Farrell's first movie in quite awhile to bring us back to the reason we love this actor in the first place.

The Bourne Legacy
Not many people exist who have seen the first three installments of this franchise and would say they weren't all great action thrillers deserving to be watched over and over again. While this latest, the fourth in the franchise, is also deserving of acclaim, I state that it wasn't nearly as provocative or exciting as the trio with Matt Damon. Sure, this is a decent thriller that once more trashes the CIA and makes them (deservedly) the bad guys, and certainly Jeremy Renner is excellent in the lead role this time, but honestly, it had pretty much nothing to do with Bourne and should have simply been made as another CIA thriller. Yes, Bourne was loosely tied into this movie, but consider that Jason Bourne had no drugs he was taking or was dependent upon as Renner's character was, so obviously this had nothing to do with the same program to create hyper-sensed operatives, the way the film tries to make us believe. It would have been better served as a stand-alone movie, but of course, those in the franchise wanted to capitalize upon the success of the first three, and so it was decided to make this a continuation.

My Opinion
Total Recall starts off at a fast pace and keeps the roller coaster ride moving continuously until the end where we are left wanting to ride it again. The Bourne Legacy begins at a snail's pace and crawls along far too long before anything exciting happens to catch our attention and truly hold it. Then it spins progressively along following the same obvious line as the first three films and leaves us thinking, "That's it? That's all we get? What?" If you can only see one movie this week and have yet to see either of these films, my bet is on Total Recall. You won't regret it.

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