Total Recall Movie Review

Audiences weren't exactly clamouring for a remake of that 1990 sci-fi hit starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, but here we are. The filmmakers promised to return more closely to Philip K. Dick's original story, but instead they merely lift visual references from a series of much more involving movies. And with only one decently realised character on the screen, the only other thing to hold our interest is the way it looks.

That one good character is Doug, played with real depth by Farrell. After a chemical war has left just two inhabitable spots on earth (Britain and Australia), Doug is working as a robotics engineer and living a quiet life with his wife Lori (Beckinsale). But he keeps dreaming about running for his life with another woman (Biel), so he heads to a Rekall memory-implant centre to clear his mind. Of course he instead opens a can of worms, discovering that he's not who he thinks he is. But what's the truth? And who's side he really working for - the totalitarian chancellor (Cranston) or the violent rebel leader (Nighy)?

The design inspiration for this film is clearly Blade Runner, as the cityscapes are lit by grubby neon amid constant drizzly rain. There's also Minority Report-style cool-looking technology in every scene (you'll want one of these nifty phone implants, although upgrades look painful), while the vertiginous architecture and levitating cars owe a lot to Star Wars and The Fifth Element.

And the chancellor's robotic drone cops are straight from The Phantom Menace, complete with that film's central plot point. In other words, the style is cut and pasted from other movies, and without a stronger sense of the characters and story, there's not much else to see here.

As with his two Underworld movies as director (he only wrote and produced the other two), Wiseman struggles to maintain audience involvement with his characters, although movie geeks love the way they look. Especially gorgeously leggy women in tight-fitting outfits. But both Beckinsale and Biel have little to do but look feisty while shooting big guns and doing bendy stunts. And Cranston and Nighy are essentially reduced to cameos. Fortunately, Farrell is more than up to carrying the entire movie on his shoulders, and his internalised angst, combined with Doug's yearning for the truth, make the film just about watchable. But the source story offers so much more.

Rich Cline

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , Neal H. Moritz?


Comments

Total Recall Rating

" Weak "

Rating: 12, 2012

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

New 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Teaser Trailer Hits The Web. It's Insane. [Trailer]

While Mad Max has never been a docile franchise, we were still...

New 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Teaser Trailer Hits The Web. It's Insane. [Trailer]

Drunken Keith Urban fans hospitalised at concert

Chaos ensued at country star Keith Urban’s concert in Mansfield, Massachussetts as many fans...

Drunken Keith Urban fans hospitalised at concert

Jake Bugg - There's A Beast And We All Feed It

A new black and white video for Jake Bugg's song 'There's A Beast And We All Feed It' has now...

Jake Bugg - There's A Beast And We All Feed It Video

Ian Somerhalder And Nikki Reed Get Affectionate At Comic-Con 2014

Apparently Comic-Con is one giant love fest this year, with Ian Somerhalder...

Ian Somerhalder And Nikki Reed Get Affectionate At Comic-Con 2014

Poll: What Do We Think of The Simpsons/Family Guy Teaser Trailer?

Homer and Peter Griffin, Bart and Stewie, Marge and Lois, Lisa and Meg...

Poll: What Do We Think of The Simpsons/Family Guy Teaser Trailer?

The Kooks - Forgive & Forget (Live At Hana Studios)

The Kooks are set to return with their fourth studio album 'Listen' on September 1st 2014 via Virgin...

The Kooks - Forgive & Forget (Live At Hana Studios) Video
Advertisement

Marvel's "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" Trailer Debuted At SDCC And Looked Awesome, Probably.

Marvel kicked off promotion for Avengers: Age of Ultron early at SDCC...

Marvel's

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 'Our Leader The Mockingjay'

Katniss Everdeen has survived the latest political disaster of Panem...

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Trailer

Lily Allen's Instagram Prank Might Get Aussie Policeman In Trouble

Lily Allen’s Instagram prank with the help of an Australian police officer could...

Lily Allen's Instagram Prank Might Get Aussie Policeman In Trouble


More recommendations

Advertisement