J.B. Spins

Jazz, film, and improvised culture.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Recall: Wesley Snipes, Alien Abductee

If aliens were abducting people, you’d think they would opt for the best possible specimens or at least the representatively average. Instead, they seem to have a preference for moronic teenagers. The aliens are back again and they are perfectly welcome to take the five bickering teens spending a weekend by the lake in Mauro Borrelli’s The Recall (trailer here), which is now playing in New York and on iTunes.

Rob dragged mopey Charlie along on this weekend getaway hoping his girlfriend Kara’s best pal Annie will help take his mind off the now deceased love of his life. If things go according to plan, the vaguely metrosexual Brendan will be the fifth wheel, but he is obsessed with taking Bigfoot photos. He’ll be able to take UFO pictures instead.

As it turns out, the aliens chose this weekend to reappear and they are making no secret of it. There is even a War of the Worlds-looking tentacle ship hovering above their lake. However, it is probably not there for them. The twitchy former astronaut-abductee squatting in a nearby hunting cabin is more likely the one they are after. However, “the Hunter” is ready to take the fight to them. He might even help the obnoxious kids survive, just to spite the aliens.

The only reason to watch Recall is to take a gander at the crazy act Wesley Snipes perfected, presumably to safely survive his stint in Federal prison. As the Hunter, he is quite an impressive anti-social mess, but he still has the action chops. If the film were told from his POV, it would have been exponentially more interesting. Instead, we get the tedious manipulation of Charlie’s dead girlfriend (you can already guess what happened to her, right?) and slimy Rob’s ridiculously misplaced alpha male aggression.

In some markets, Recall is screening in the Barco Escape format, which utilizes three-screen projection techniques, sort of like Cinerama or the “Triptych” finale in Abel Gance’s 1927 silent masterpiece, Napoleon. Yet, this is such a derivative narrative, featuring such blockheaded characters, you would hardly want to immerse yourself in its world. It is nice to know Snipes can still mix it up, but his efforts are wasted in this parade of alien abduction clichés Not recommended, The Recall is currently playing in New York at the Village East.

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