Movie Review: Total Recall

Movie Review: Total Recall

Total Recall


PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action. Some
sexual content, brief nudity and language.
Genre: Remake, sci-fi, action
Running Time 2 hours 15 minutes

For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid – even though he has a beautiful wife whom he loves – he feels like he’s missing something. Stuck in what seems to be the mundane and routine, Quaid looks for a way to escape into his dreams by visiting a company that can turn your dreams into real memories.

But, when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man finding himself on the run from the police controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen, the leader of the free world.

One visit to Rekall – enables Quaid to recall who he really is.

Not Your Arnie Recall Movie

Total Recall is back but make no mistake, this version does not compare with the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger version. The names are the same, the good guys and bad guys remain the same. The story line is close as it centers around a man named Douglas Quaid who discovers he’s a secret agent, but the setting is totally different.

In 1990 Quaid was haunted by a recurring dream about a journey to Mars. His visit to ReKall brings back memories of being a secret agent fighting against the evil Mars administrator named Cohaagen. This time around the setting has our secret agent Quaid plugging along through life as a factory worker living in one of the two remaining “safe” zones on earth. The rest of the world is uninhabitable after nuclear wars destroyed much of the surface. Quaid lives in a renamed Australia and commutes to his job in the leftover portions of Europe via a huge elevator that goes through the planets core.

Bored with his life – haunted by a dream with a mystery woman in it – Quaid finds himself tossed back into a strange secret agent life battling what’s real and what’s fantasy.

I vaguely remember seeing the original Total Recall but I do remember it was a big thing back in 1990 among sci-fi fans. It’s obvious those involved in this remake are going for a new sci-fi crowd as they shifted the fantasy from Mars back to earth in post-war future earth setting. With that in mind it’s important to find a way to plow through what is an obvious political message. If you can get beyond that – then Total Recall becomes a turn-your-mind-off and enjoy the ride kind of show. There are interesting twists and turns along the way and the action is pretty much non-stop full of “they could never do that” moments.

From an acting standpoint, Colin Farrell who plays Douglas Quaid is mediocre. He – or really any of the other cast members including Jessica Biel or Bill Nighy – really don’t turn in stellar performances. But then again that probably has more to do with the content of Total Recall than anything else. This is simply a busy movie jammed with wall to wall action. There’s really very little down time.

Is it original? Probably not. First off lets remember this is a remake of the 1990 movie and just like it’s predecessor, is based on the short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” written by Philip K. Dick. But even some of the sci-fi events seem borrowed from the Will Smith hit movie I Robot. The flying cars are very similar to what we saw in that movie and the robot police officers are almost an exact match.

Stepping away from the fact that some of the scenery seems a re-hash of past sci-fi movies, I came away from Total Recall with somewhat of a smile on my face. This will not be a movie for everyone and for those hoping for a cameo of Schwarzenegger – you will be disappointed. This version of Total Recall is too far removed from the first one for there to be any connections and possible cameos.

The bottom line is this – if you’re looking for a movie full of action with a somewhat interesting story line, you will enjoy Total Recall.

Enjoy the show!

Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.