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Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Recall (2017)

I’m in another of those moods where I go looking for movies that I’ve never seen or heard about before. I do this to mix things up and sometimes find a cool flick no one is talking about. Let me assure you right away that the Recall is not one of those.

The story kicks off with some astronauts doing a spacewalk. A giant shadow appears, and they grab their heads screaming. Then we meet five annoying young people, two couples and the nerdy guy, going to an isolated cabin for Labor Day weekend. They arrive but not before meeting up with a local survivalist/hunter played by Wesley Snipes! Then we meet a bunch of new characters in a bunker talking about stuff before the action moves back to the kids. Some clouds show up and then aliens arrive. They are there to kidnap people for reasons. Everyone dies then gets better. The aliens leave and then the army/cops try to re-kill the kids. But they can’t because the aliens gave them superpowers. Why? Well for reasons of course! Then the movie ends with them looking at the clouds because the aliens came right back after having just left.

This movie is terrible. I suppose that is all I need to say but that would make for a lousy and lazy review. So, let me give you some examples. First up is the story and character development. Within thirty seconds you know that the moody kid, Charlie, is going to have some deep and disturbing backstory. He does because his girlfriend died in a car crash that was his fault. This has scarred him but no worries. After he is kidnapped by aliens his dead girlfriend shows up an tells him to let her go. He is all like “No way I can’t” and then she is like “come on dude” so then he is like “ok”. Then the aliens drill into his skull… for reasons. Just like that his deep-seated issues are gone. That is both bad storytelling and character development. Do you want more? Okay I think I can help you.

The other guy with a girlfriend, Rob, is Charlie’s best pal. Until he sees an alien and then he immediately starts fighting with him. They go from friends to Rob threatening to shoot him in about two minutes of screen time. I’ve seen character lose their shit in movies before, but Rob actually tries to shoot and kill his friend for no discernable reason. What the hell movie? Are you seeing a pattern here? There is more but I don’t feel the need to share.

There are worse places they could probe... just saying.
The only slightly cool thing about The Recall is the Wesley Snipes character. He is a former astronaut that was abducted and released by the aliens years earlier. This wrecked his life and gave him some insight to them. He knew they were coming back and he was waiting for them. He chews up some scenery, has the only good lines in the movie, and basically kicks ass. Sadly, he isn’t on screen enough to save The Recall. I would have loved to see an entire flick of him versus them but that isn’t what we get.

I will admit that the filmmakers do a good job with the special effects work. The CGI of the spaceships arriving, and the big storms is decent enough. The latex work used to bring the aliens to the screen is also decent. They clearly had some money to spend and took the time to make The Recall look good. I just wished that they had spent some time on the story and character development.

Clearly, I’m not recommending the movie. It was a boring mess that had me looking at the clock early on. I watched and finished The Recall so you wouldn’t have to. Take my advice and skip this one.

© Copyright 2020 John Shatzer

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