Review of 'Total Recall'

total_recall.jpg A remake of the 1990 film of the same name directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this version keeps you guessing perhaps quite a bit more…

Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is a factory worker who is a bit bored so takes up a suggestion from a fellow worker to visit Rekall - A company that provides people memories of experiences. After being strapped in for treatment the shop is attacked with Quaid discovering his amazing abilities to deal with the heavily armed assailants. After returning home to his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) he learns she is actually one of those after him and he manages to escape yet again. An unexpected phone call leads him to a safety deposit box with clues as to his real identity. Much of earth has been devastated with only two centres of population in London and Australia connected by an elevator through the centre of the planet. Quaid discovers a resistance group fighting against a plot by those in power that will threaten the lives of the few humans remaining…But what is real and what is not? What does he really believe in?

Perhaps taking a bit of a cop-out by not setting this on Earth and Mars (like the 1990 film) this is more than made up for by the neat conceit of an elevator through the middle of the planet. A lot of the film is Quaid running through the intriguing eye candy of a significantly reduced planet (lots of buildings stacked on top of one largely, it seems, defying gravity). There are a number of knowing nods to the original film that will keep fans interested but there is enough new twists here to provide even more interest to those same fans. The story is a bit more convoluted running the risk of losing some viewers but I thought it was intriguing. Having said that I was slightly disappointed when things became clear towards the end…

An interesting and welcome new vision of “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. Much better effects than the 1990 original film and more nuanced performances. I like that it was not entirely clear what was really going on until the last third of the film…If you like a bit of mystery to your SF and like action you will not go to far wrong here…

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Review Date: 2018-03-24

Directed by: Len Wiseman

Studio: Total Recall

Year: 2012

Length: 118 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction

Other reviewed films by Len Wiseman: