Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Review of THE RECALL: Abduction Absurdities

June 20, 2017

Wesley Snipes was first noted in the music video of Michael Jackson's number one hit "Bad" in 1988. From there, he went on to become one of the biggest box-office stars of the 1990s, starring in films like "New Jack City" (1991), "White Men Can't Jump" (1992), "Demolition Man" (1993), and his biggest role as "Blade" (1998).  He got embroiled in an income tax evasion case that took its toll on his career in the late 2000s. He went to jail from 2010 to 2013, and this film is only one of the few films he has had since he was released.

Five young people go for a weekend getaway in a house located in a remote forest area. While they were there, their vacation was interrupted by the arrival of aliens who had been abducting people all over the world. As the alien invaders kill or capture their friends one by one, Charlie and Annie rely on their wits and a scary guy they met called The Hunter to survive their terrible ordeal. 

If there are any Wesley Snipes fans who are hoping that their former idol can recover some of his lost glory with this film, they would be very disappointed. He had a very hammy turn as an eccentric ex-soldier who was once abducted by these same aliens before. It seems he might be going the way of Nicolas Cage, John Travolta or Bruce Willis starring in B-movies of sketchy quality just to get by financially. 

The main characters of this film are young unknown actors who seemed to have been cast because their faces and bodies looked good, rather than for their acting talent. Just like a typical horror film, the ones we do not get to know too well get killed off first. Other typical B-horror scenarios like sexy time in a hot tub on the first night and inexplicable foolhardiness to go out investigating in the dead of night are also there to be seen.

Curly-haired Charlie was given a little back story dealing with the recent death of his girlfriend, which accounted for his aloof behavior. Annie was a friendly girl who was trying to connect with him. She was made to be dependent on her miraculous inhaler for her asthma attacks, so you know that would play a role later for suspense purposes. Unfortunately, despite being cast in the lead roles, these two actors Jedidiah Goodacre and Laura Bilgeri really need more acting workshops to improve their performances.

There was only one point of this film where I felt palpable tension and that was when one of the characters woke up inside the alien spacecraft after being sucked up into it. But those few heart-pounding minutes would later give way to more absurd scenes like the ones before it. Furthermore, the bright orange jellyfish-like creatures were hardly intimidating and did not work as scary alien pets.  

Anyhow, there was a plot point that was reminiscent of "Arrival" which was not bad. However, the director Mauro Borrelli (who previously worked as a concept illustrator of big films like two "Pirates of the Caribbean" films, "Captain America:The First Avenger" and even the upcoming "Star Wars: The Last Jedi") elected to play this one up more for shallow jump scares. silly gunfights and senseless gore, than to work on elucidating the more intellectual potential of its story. 2/10.

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