The Recall Is an Occasionally Enjoyable Retread for Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes stars as the Hunter in The Recall.

Wesley Snipes stars as the Hunter in The Recall.

It’s now been four years since the iconic Wesley Snipes returned to Hollywood a free man. Since then, he’s appeared in a few Expendables sequels and top-lined ill-fated network TV show “The Player,” but has mostly remained under the radar when compared to the gleaming dazzle of his ‘90s and early-‘00s peak, which saw him appear most notably as the stoic, tortured vampire hunter Blade.

This weekend marks a would-be return to form for Snipes, as he again takes up the mantle as a troubled, eccentric hunter who goes toe-to-toe with supernatural forces in the sci-fi chiller The Recall. The film concerns some disposable young rapscallions who head to a remote lake house for a weekend of fun in the sun. Instead the kids wind up in the crosshairs of a malignant, blue-scaled alien creature, who swoops into the scene and abducts a number of the partiers to its mothership for sinister purposes. Enter “The Hunter” (Snipes), a kooky, paranoid gunner clad in paramilitary garb and strapped to teeth with weaponry. The Hunter lends his aid to token average-guy Charlie (played by “Breaking Bad” luminary RJ Mitte) as they take the fight right to the otherworldy baddy.

There’s a bit of juicy backstory involved regarding the Hunter having been himself abducted and tortured by these aliens 20 years prior to our story, but for the most part The Recall unfurls with spare simplicity: Alien kills humans, humans try to kill aliens, rinse, wash, repeat. Directed semi-competently by Mauro Borrelli (a storyboard artist who has worked on the Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars franchises), the movie is a schlocky and mostly fun bit of drive-in fair with little on its mind besides the basics of horror entertainment. The performers are largely uninspired, save for Snipes, who still manages to command the camera’s attention with his every glowering stare and lurching movement. One must give Borrelli some credit for trying to heighten the material by injecting weighty treatises on the nature of humanity and the vastness of the universe, but his attempts at seriousness often clash with the cheese-laden B-movie approach of the visuals, as the Monsters themselves, unfortunately, do not inspire much confidence, utilizing render-farmed CGI reminiscent of a SyFy channel original movie.

All that being said, one of the initial chief draws of The Recall is that it’s the first film ever shot natively for the “Barco Escape” visual format— one that would see it projected on a triple-screen, 180-degree panoramic display, like a latter-day version of the ‘60s CinemaScope presentations. Sadly, this reviewer was unable to view the movie in its intended glory, so perhaps some of its grandeur was lost in translation. Nevertheless, if one is looking for a quick, down-and-dirty bit of candy-corn fluff amid the summer doldrums, they could do worse than to see one featuring the ever-great Wesley Snipes. In watching The Recall, one hopes that his agent can start landing him higher-budget material in the near future.

The Recall
Freestyle Releasing
Now in select theaters

3 Stars

Films are rated on a scale of 5 stars (must-see), 4 stars (exceptional), 3 stars (solid), 2 stars (average) and 1 star (unworthy).

Dash Finley is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering entertainment.

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