Total Recall Movie Review

Posted on 4 September 2012
By Camilla McNatty
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With the original Total Recall being hailed by many as a classic, Colin Farrell’s remake offers stunning special effects but on the whole, remains forgettable and unengaging in comparison.

The sci-fi thriller loosely based on Philip K Dick’s short story, ‘We Can Remember It For You Wholesale’ proves to be a great action film. The special effects are undeniable; scenes which take the basic concept of a car chase and turn it completely on its head emphasises where this movie excels.

A series of high-tech ideas including a phone embedded into a palm and a high speed lift which transports you across the world allow Total Recall to amass some credibility.

Following catastrophic chemical warfare, the world has been split into two areas, The United Federation of Britain and The Colony. Colin Farrell plays lowly factory worker Douglas Quaid, who decides to visit ‘Rekall,’ a facility which will implant memories into his conscious and create the illusion he has led a dramatic and exciting life.

However, all is not well as Quaid reacts to the machine due to a ‘conflict,’ which reveals that he has already led an extraordinary life, of which he is unaware until now. Quaid rushes to find his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) only to discover she is also in on the facade which is his double life.

Quaid is then forced on a mission to uncover his true existence and the reason as to why he is unable to remember any of his former life.

The world split is heightened by the tensions between Chancellor Vilos Cohaagen of the UFB and the Resistance which finds Farrell as the catalyst for the dangerous conflict, and provides a huge clue into his past.

Colin Farrell manages to remain credible throughout the film; he is paranoid and torn as to where his true identity lies and leaves the audience wondering where his true destiny lies. Although with less comedy than the character Arnold Schwarzenegger commands, Farrell is convincing as a super spy on the run.

Jessica Biel plays Melina, a mysterious companion who has been appearing in Quaid’s dreams and who rescues him from Beckinsale’s frosty glare, and high powered firearm. She seems bored throughout the film and doesn’t leave you convinced that she has the ability to open Farrell’s eyes to anything.

Kate Beckinsale fits well into the role of undercover agent but the two leading ladies warring feels a little awkward and equally uninspiring.

Bill Nighy as the leader of the resistance is wasted. Being talked about more than seen is disappointing and the same applies to Bryan Cranston as Chancellor Cohaagan, dictator of UFB.

Although it features scenes which are visually stunning and the notorious girl with three breasts, Total Recall lacks any real impact as a sci-fi thriller. Directer Len Wiseman fails to make the most of a big budget and the easily recognisable and likeable cast which will ultimately make this movie just another 2012 remake.

Total Recall is out now – for Liverpool One Odeon cinema times visit