Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Total Recall (2012)

It’s fast paced and entertaining, but never gets past mediocrity as a derivative and forgettable popcorn flick.

Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen. — (C) Sony

I don’t remember much about the classic. There are only two images I can remember – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face getting comically bloated as he tumbles down Mars’ landscape and something about an alien coming out of some guy’s stomach. So this review is based solely on the movie as a stand alone film.

In this remake, the Mars plot line is removed and concentrates on Douglas Quaid and his missing memory. Colin Farrell is good enough as the confused lead. The rest of the cast does well with what they’re given but merely serve as one note caricatures going with the flow. Bill Nighy is left to deliver some mopey lines, and Bryan Cranston walks around as a one dimensional villain with blonde hair.

Like most blockbuster films, there’s  plenty of eye candy. The action sequences are impressive and the fighting scenes are bad ass. But the movie delivers good ideas on borrowed visuals. The crowded metropolis is reminiscent of Blade Runner. The late and unconvincing “what if” towards the end comes off as a borrowed trick from Inception using Rekall – is he experiencing reality or is he stuck in his head living out an implanted memory?

When the movie has finally run its course, the lasting effect is as potent as a tub of popcorn. It’s only good while it lasts.

My Rating: 5/10

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