Film reviews, Auigust 30, 2012

Undated Film Still Handout from Total Recall. Pictured: Quaid (Colin Farrell). See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from Total Recall. Pictured: Quaid (Colin Farrell). See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Sony Pictures Releasing. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

New Total Recall is bit of a no-brainer


Total Recall (12A): The human brain is capable of processing hundreds of billions of instructions every second, putting to shame many supercomputers. 
But like those supercomputers, the brain is susceptible to viruses and corruption.
False memories can be planted - without any malicious intent: an older family member recounts a hilarious anecdote from our formative years and without any evidence to the contrary, we ‘create’ an image in the mind’s eye to match their perception.
The complexities of the brain, and the ease with which it can be tricked, are the central theme of Total Recall, a testosterone-fuelled remake of the 1990 Paul Verhoeven action adventure inspired by Philip K Dick’s short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.
Punctuated by thrilling action set pieces set to Harry Gregson-Williams’s bombastic score, Len Wiseman’s film barely pauses for breath to worry about characterisation as preposterous twist follows outrageous turn.
Fans of the Arnold Schwarzenegger version will be two steps ahead of the screenwriters but directorial brio and eye-popping special effects hold our interest when there is nothing on screen to fire our little grey cells.
In the late 21st century, Earth is a radioactive wasteland apart from two outposts on opposite sides of the planet: the prosperous United Federation of Britain ruled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) and the polluted, rain-saturated Colony, home to millions of workers and the underground resistance led by Matthias (Bill Nighy).
Factory worker Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) lives in this hellhole with his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) and travels to work in the UFB with best friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) via The Fall: a giant elevator running close to the Earth’s core which links the two settlements.
Unfulfilled and frustrated, Doug visits Rekall, a shadowy company which promises to realise clients’ dreams by implanting artificial memories.
In Doug’s case, he wants to be a super spy. Shortly before the procedure takes hold, Rekall technician McClane (John Cho) discovers that Doug’s memory has been wiped. In the blink of an eye, the factory worker’s world implodes and he goes on the run in the company of rebel agent Melina (Jessica Biel).
Total Recall is bombastic fun so long as you disengage your brain and submit to the gargantuan leaps in logic.
Wiseman directs set pieces with aplomb, including a high-speed hovercar chase and a dizzying pursuit through a tower block’s horizontal and vertical lift shafts.
Farrell energetically flexes his muscles and adopts a permanent look of befuddlement, telling Melina, “Everyone seems to know me but me.”
Beckinsale chews scenery, while Biel attempts to add depth to her two-dimensional heroine.
The film’s vision of the future is richly detailed and it’s comforting that when Armageddon comes, we will apparently escape the fallout. While the rest of the world disintegrates, Britain rules the radiation waves.

Rating: 6/10

Keith Lemon - The Film (15): Small-time businessman Keith Lemon (Leigh Francis) runs Securipole in Leeds with his level-headed girlfriend Rosie (Laura Aikman) and dim pal Douglas (Kevin Bishop). 
Keith dreams of fame and fortune but he doesn’t have a nose for industry and his invention fails to generate interest at a convention in London. 
Indeed, the only person to applaud his bravado is fellow inventor Kushvinder (Harish Patel), who gives Keith a touchscreen mobile phone prototype in exchange for 8.2% of any gross future profits. With the help of a fixer called Archimedes (Verne Troyer), Keith snags a guest spot on David Hasselhoff’s chat show where he launches the Lemon Phone - an ordinary handset with a glowing citrus fruit on the case that becomes a global sensation. 
With millions pouring into the bank, Keith sets about wooing Kelly Brook to his palatial abode.

Rating: 1/10

A Few Best Men (15): David (Xavier Samuel) and Mia (Laura Brent) meet on a tropical island and are instantly smitten. 
They pledge themselves to each other and David returns to rain-lashed London to tell his pals the exciting news. “You are gambling your whole life on a girl you don’t know!” despairs confirmed bachelor Tom (Kris Marshall). 
Clumsy clot Graham (Kevin Bishop) and drama queen Luke (Tim Draxl) voice similar concerns. Unperturbed, David books a flight to Australia and Tom, Graham and Luke join him on the hare-brained odyssey. 
David heads straight to the in-laws and ingratiates himself to Mia’s father, Senator Jim Ramm (Jonathan Biggins), and his dutiful wife, Barbara (Olivia Newton-John). 
Meanwhile, Tom, Graham and Luke make a pit-stop at the den of a tattooed drug-dealer (Steve Le Marquand) and accidentally leave with an entire stash of cocaine...

Rating: 5/10

Shadow Dancer (15): Twenty-something single mother Colette McVeigh (Andrea Riseborough) has never forgiven herself for inadvertently sending her young brother to his death in 1970s Belfast. 
She harbours a deep resentment for British forces and has assuaged her guilt by becoming an active member of the IRA alongside her two brothers, Gerry (Aidan Gillen) and Connor (Domhnall Gleeson). British police apprehend her during an attempted bombing of the London Underground and MI5 operative Mac (Clive Owen) leads the interrogation. 
He provides evidence that an IRA bullet killed her brother and offers an ultimatum: act as a mole, secretly feeding back vital intelligence on terrorist plots, or serve 25 years behind bars. Reluctantly, Colette agrees to work for MI5 and provides details about an assassination attempt led by her brothers.

Rating: 8/10