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Total Recall Review

 
total recall review image 3
total recall review image 3
total recall review image 3

 
At A Glance...
 

Genre: ,
 
Director:
 
Age Rating: ,
 
Actor: , , , ,
 
Length: 118 Minutes
 
Release Date: 3rd August 2012
 
Studio: Original Film
 
Story Line: Bored of his humdrum life, Douglas Quaid visits Total Rekall to have more wild and exotic memories implanted in his brain, only to find out that he's harbouring a deep secret that could save millions.
 
Producer: Neal H. Moritz Toby Jaffe
 
Composer: Harry Gregson-Williams
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
1.5/ 5


User Rating
1 total rating

 

We liked?


Visual Effects are brilliant
Reminds you how good the original film is
Jam packed with detail

Not so much?


No real substance
Ham fisted dialogue
Tiring precession of action sequences


Final Fiendish Findings?

Even as someone who loves the occasional mindless action flick, and who was never a diehard fan of the original Total Recall, I can’t honestly recommend this film to anyone. As a huge Philip K. Dick fan it’s about as removed from his work as it’s possible to be and frankly an insult to one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time.

My honest recommendation is to wait until it comes out on Blu-Ray and then watch the original instead.

0
Posted September 26, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings?
 
 

Total Recall is an attempt to update the classic story from Philip K. Dick (We Can Remember It For You Wholesale) which was previously filmed by Paul Verhoevan and Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 1990. What surprised me is that out of the two attempts, it’s actually the Verhoevan/Schwarzenegger version that comes across as the most conservative and restrained interpretation.

Total Recall fails miserably by trying too hard. The action sequences actually make up the overwhelming majority of the film and are overdone, overblown and over-compensating for that fact that the film really hasn’t been written with a 118 minute running time in mind. As much exposition is delivered during the first five minutes so you can spend the rest of the film watching Colin Farrell running. When the action does give you some brief respite, you are then plagued by ham-fisted dialogue. At one point Bill Nighy turns up, talks a load of bollocks for five minutes and then promptly vanishes again. During this exchange between him and Farrell’s character, Douglas Quaid, both try and speculate on the meaning of identity and what makes you who you are. It’s so embarrassingly done that I was begging for another inconsequential action sequence to kick in, which it thankfully did.

The problem with these over the top action films is that there is absolutely no pay-off at all when you hit the end of the film and the final confrontation. You’ve been soaked in choppy editing, explosions, gunfights and life or death jumps that the film just feels like it’s ticking off a check list of things an action film must contain.

Total Recall is totally soulless which is a real shame as the rendering of Britain and The Colony (Australia) are fantastic and the world is jam packed with detail and a well thought out future world. But those details are absorbed into the chaotic mess of the plot and the action so that they never really stick out.

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The film also highlights some real missed opportunities with Dick’s work which has usually been very faithfully translated to film (see the original Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly). His work is often a hybrid of head bending stories and wry humour which are both very much sorely lacking here. Total Recall takes itself way too seriously and skims over the plot and Quaid’s dilemma of his fragmented identity in favour of more unnecessary chase sequences.

So mind rotting was the whole experience that I walked out of the cinema trying hard to remember what is was I just watched. Colin Farrell was okay, Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale could have easily swapped roles halfway through and I’d probably have been none the wiser.

Summing up this review, even as someone who loves the occasional mindless action flick, and who was never a diehard fan of the original Total Recall, I can’t honestly recommend this film to anyone. As a huge Philip K. Dick fan it’s about as removed from his work as it’s possible to be and frankly an insult to one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time.

My honest recommendation is to wait until it comes out on Blu-Ray and then watch the original instead.


Adam

 
Playing games since I'd developed enough motor functions to hold a joystick. From Commodore 64 all the way through to the latest gen. Favourite games to play are FPS games and anything with a deep and compelling story and a world that draws you in. I also enjoy writing, film making and playing bass in whatever band will have me :)