Total Recall Movie Review
In this “remake” of Paul Verhoeven’s iconic 1990 sci-fi action flick, Colin Farrell takes on the role of Douglas Quaid, a man who is on the run from police after a trip to Rekall goes wrong. Rekall is a program that implants whatever type of memory you want, into your brain. However, as he is about to start Rekall, police break in and attempt to kill Quaid, who in turn, fights off and kills all of them. He goes home to his wife, who also tries to kill him, and she reveals that she is not really his wife, and his life with her was a memory implanted by Rekall. In order to learn more about his past, he goes on the run with Melina, a friend (whom he doesn’t remember), and begins to learn more about who he really is, and what these people want with him.
With the first Total Recall fresh in mind, I went into this hoping that it would effectively use today’s special effect, without losing the fun of the original. I was only half impressed. The special effects were fabulous! However, it lost the one thing that spurred the success of Schwarzenegger’s version, that is the fun. The original was very enjoyable to watch, but this lost that facet.
It could be argued that this is not really a remake of the 1990 film, but if you have seen it, you can’t help but compare the two. It has some very big differences, most notably the exclusion of Mars, but they are still strikingly similar.
As I just mentioned, Mars is not in this movie at all. That is a big disappointment to me. I think that had they made a straight-up remake, rather than a different adaptation of the short story, I would’ve enjoyed it more. I can only begin to imagine how impressive they could’ve made Mars look with their fancy effects and ginormous budget.
One of the film’s strong points is definitely the acting. Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel were pretty good, but Kate Beckinsale blew them away. She gave one of her best career performances and was the highlight of the film. I was waiting for the three of them to join forces and eat everyone around them. I got confused since all three of them have previously played vampires: Colin Farrell in Fright Night, Kate Beckinsale in Underworld, and Jessica Biel in Blade: Trinity.
Total Recall is a lackluster action thriller that tries to impress us with constant gunfire and well-choreagraphed fight scenes, all the while forgetting what made the original so successful. Only go and see Total Recall if it is your only option. I recommend you buy Paul Verhoeven’s version on blu-ray and watch that instead. Plus, if your theater has the volume turned up to four thousand like mine did, you may not hear anything for a while.
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Directed by: Len Wiseman
Written by: Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback
Based on the short story by: Phillip K. Dick
Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale
Run Time: 1 Hour and 58 Minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity, and language
IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
My Rating: 4/10
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