There's a lull in new popcorn entertainment this last Friday in July, as studios are steering clear of The Dark Knight Rises during its sophomore week at the box office (save for Fox's sci-fi comedy, The Watch). Things pick up again in August, with Total Recall hitting the scene - followed a week later by The Bourne Legacy.
A new Total Recall featurette focuses on selling the action side of the film, with attention paid to director Len Wiseman's preference for practical effects over CGI enhancement. We also get a breakdown of the innovative sequence where Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) systematically takes down a pack of stormtroopers/Federal Police - captured via the use of "Super Sliders" that allow for simultaneous tracking camera shots, which were spliced together seamlessly during editing.
Less imaginative, perhaps, is the additional footage of sci-fi spectacle in Total Recall, including multiple shoot-outs, hovercar chases, and Farrell running around a darkly-filtered metallic futuristic world reminiscent of Steven Spielberg's Minority Report (it doesn't help that Farrell also appeared in that film). The cast and crew promoted the movie as a enthralling bit of escapism - with enough brains to distinguish it from the 1990 Total Recall starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - during our set visit and later at the Comic-Con panel. Whether or not it stands out among other members of the sci-fi genre, remains to be seen.
On the other hand: certain moviegoers will get their money's worth from Total Recall, just for the brawl between Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale. A sequel could even be in the books, if enough people enjoy the movie (couldn't that shatter the "Is It All a Dream?" aspect of the story? Moving on...).
The Bourne Legacy featurette aims to offer more insight into the plot proceedings, which overlap with those in Bourne Ultimatum. It mostly succeeds at teasing the grittier action style, with a succession of clips of Jeremy Renner as Aaron Cross - chopping his enemies down to size, outmaneuvering people on his motorbike, leaping into narrow alleyways, and pulling stunts that only genetically-altered covert ops are capable of. We do, however, get a better look at Edward Norton in the position of "Government Official with Shady Motives" determined to capture rogue assassins at any cost (taking over from Chris Cooper and David Strathairn in previous Bourne movies).
It's familiar terrain for the franchise, but writer/director Tony Gilroy executes those plot and action elements with confidence. Producer Frank Marshall (who shows up briefly in the featurette) is already looking ahead to future installments, with Renner and costar Rachel Weisz continuing as the focus point(s).
Total Recall opens in U.S. theaters on August 3rd, 2012.
The Bourne Legacy opens a week later on August 10th.
Source: Columbia Pictures, iTunes Movie Trailers