If you were brave enough to see the modern and serious remake of Total Recall on its opening weekend, then you will love our Total Recall Redux Drinking Game we came up with to help make it more… palatable? I am in no way condoning you sneak in a case of your favorite hard liquor but a lot of help is needed to make Total Recall go down smoothly. Let me remind you that this was NOT on our 25 Films We Want to See in 2012. So don’t blame us if you didn’t like it. But it’s not unsalvageable!
Now yes, I realize I am asking you to see the film again, but it will be worth it if you get hammered and maybe you’ll eventually hallucinate all of the Mars stuff they decided to take out of the film. As we all know the 1990 original Recall, that starred the “Governator,” Arnold Schwarzenegger, directed by Paul Verhoeven and based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale. It had all of these cool science-fiction-fantasy-mutant elements that were scrapped for the remake.
Considering Nasa’s recent mission to Mars on the same weekend, this omission was a wasted opportunity. And if you haven’t seen Total Recall yet, then playing the game is suggested. Just make sure you see it soon, because there’s no way this is lasting longer than three weeks in the theaters. Oh and a warning for spoilers below, but then again, you should be ashamed of yourself if you haven’t seen the original.
Warning: I suggest picking only two or three rules though when you play; otherwise, you’ll probably die from alcohol poisoning and we don’t want that.
1) Take 1 shot or drink when someone says, “Shit.”
Whenever the action paused for a moment for a reaction, it seemed like the only thing anyone could say was, “Shit!” It’s not always yelled out, sometimes it’s said in-sigh, or under one’s breath. I normally disagree when people say that using curse words shows your inability to articulate one’s thoughts or feelings, but there are no better words to describe how thoughtless that word was used in this script. There is an art to cursing, but it was not on display in this film. In theory, you could just get drunk off of this first rule alone, 20 minutes in. On second thought, you may want to go with every other time someone says it. You will want to pace yourself.
2) Take 2 shots or drinks when you realize a minority is just a minor character.
I’m not dumb, I knew the film was going to be about Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel, three beautiful actors who cannot carry a film by themselves. Oh yes, Bryan Cranston too (who I’ll give a pass to), but did nearly 98% of the Asians, blacks, and other non-whites in the cast have to play nearly all the minor roles or extras in the film? The three-breasted woman was played by Asian-American actress Kaitlyn Leeb was literally a throw-away cameo. John Cho, Will Yunn Lee, Mishael Morgan and Milton Barnes all had less than three minutes screen time–and I’m being generous at three minutes. Only Bokeem Woodbine had a real supporting role as Quaid’s friend on the assembly line, Harry. Looking back at the original, both Rachel Ticotin and Mel Johnson Jr. had memorable roles in the story. Now I’m always happy to see my Asian brothers and sisters get roles, um, even when Cho dies his hair blond (why exactly?), but remember it’s quality, not quantity; The Last Samurai wasn’t exactly progress. I know that Bill Nighy’s Matthias was wasted too and Biel’s Melina could have been played by virtually anyone else, but it’s hard not to notice the efforts made to keep the different ingredients from melting in the pot.
3) Take 2 shots or drinks when you feel like Lori Quaid should have died.
Now I didn’t mind seeing Beckinsale last throughout the entire film, but there were at least three or four times where I could have accepted an early exit, I begged for it at one point. By the end, Lori became that villain. How Hollywood thinks this cliché helps films end well again and again is well, shit. Damn, now I have to take a shot. Hold on. [Gulp]
4) Take 3 shots or drinks for every Kate Beckinsale butt shot.
Um. I don’t really need to qualify this do I? You want more? Oh here’s a problem I had. Why were there no great Jessica Biel butt shots? Why was she wearing baggy cargo pants? Booooooo! I need another shot for that depression. [Gulp]
5) Take 3 shots or drinks when you actually laughed because something was genuinely funny.
The screening I went to was a raucous, chatty group before the movie started, but it was deathly silent during the film, and sure, you want that 99/100 times you go to the theater (sometimes you like to hear other people laughing at a comedy), but there’s maybe one or two moments where people were able to stop, breathe and laugh. Even a thrill ride like Diehard has carefully placed scenes of levity. There was no real plot, and whatever there was, left no room for a real moment to unfold. But if you can be honest with your laughter, reward yourself generously.
6) Take 2 shots or drinks for every “new” plot element that feels borrowed from another film.
The skeleton of the original film is here, minus all of the fun. But where it’s noticeably different also felt like parts of I, Robot or The Bourne Identity or… Attack of the fucking Clones!?! Twice!?! If you’re going to rip off parts of films, steal from good ones. I’m probably missing a few others but it take you out of the film and showed a total lack of imagination.
7) Take 1 shot or drink every time you say to yourself, “Walter White is going save this film.”
If only this was an episode of Breaking Bad, at least you knew it was going to be brilliant by the end of the film, but even Cranston couldn’t save it as the villainous Cohaagen. Cranston is ten times more evil with a goatee, a shaved head and a pair of Clarks on his feet. It’s true. As the story unfolds and you just want something to save you from action, which does eventually numb you. Don’t worry, this rule will help you get through the third act. Just be sure you have enough liquor left to make it that far, because you’ll go through half a bottle hoping for Cranston to give this mess some panache. Interesting factoid: Cranston’s Breaking Bad co-star Dean “Hank” Norris played Tony in the 90’s version. Yes, Hank or Tony would have helped this remake, if only slightly.
8) Take 3 shots or drinks when Quaid stops from his frantic life-or-death chase to play the piano.
A great W-T-F moment! I’m taking three shots for just writing that. [Gulp-Gulp-Gulp]
9) Take 1 shots or drink when they show an establishing shot of the shuttle that connects The Federation of Great Britain and The Colony.
Okay one of the more interesting plot changes was that they chose to tell the story on a what’s left of earth after chemical weapons left only the continents of Western Europe and Australia as habitable land. Workers from The Colony would ride into this shuttle that would go through the core of the Earth and come out in the FGB and return after a day’s work. If there was one place a company could use some product placement on a billboard though, it would have been right on top of this shuttle dock. They must have shown it (see picture above) at least a dozen times. We got it, it’s a beautifully composited scene with intricate CG work, but after the eighth or ninth time… enough already. Bah, I’ve contributed to this total. [Gulp]
10) Take 5 shots or drinks when you truly believed a scene was done better than the original Arnie/Verhoeven film.
I’m a bit tipsy writing this game up, but I’m sober enough to say that there were a few moments that were treated better, and no, not necessarily the one pictured directly above, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. There weren’t many. This rule is simply to illustrate how unnecessary this film was. The action is great, but don’t we need more than one giant, soulless, action sequence and an uncharismatic Colin Farrell (who was so much fun to watch in Fright Night) playing the piano in the heat of a chase–again, WTF? I still don’t understand why the Mars element was scrapped, other than it didn’t want to be mistaken as science fiction–trust me, worries here. And yeah, I’m still angry that there was no Kuato! Perhaps it was for the better. At least we’ll still have this drinking game.