Total Recall 2012
Total Recall, 2012
(Contains spoilers – but then it’s a remake, so you’re probably aware of them)
Total Recall (2012) is exactly why cinema is going down the toilet (and apparently, through the Earth’s Core) and I apologise for seeing it. It has no ideas of its own, it’s a remake and it borrows so heavily from many other greater sources (not least its predecessor). I could be drawn into an argument against all of the above if I enjoyed it; but I didn’t. How could I be? It was a 2 hour tolerance test. Not to mention nothing about the film make a lick of sense.
At some point in the future planet Earth is reduced to 2 liveable continents; Europe and Australia, the rest of the planet is a chemical wasteland after some sort of war. Now, to me, that would suggest that America (in all likelihood) got into a scrap with Russia and the Middle and Far Easts. We don’t know how or why. What we do know is that Europe is re-christened the United Federation of Britain. Britain. Which is why almost everyone speaks American, even the British actors.
London now looks like what would happen if Minority Report and Bladerunner had a baby, and said baby was delivered by JJ Abrams. Whatever ruling classes Europe had (all Royal Families and Governments) all handed over their power to Bryan Cranston’s syrup who promptly decided that he’d best start building Mechs from ‘Mass Effect 2’ and have a war (which we never really see/understand) with Australia. Given how little land there is left on planet Earth and how the last few wars went, it doesn’t really sound like Bryan’s wig has been screwed all the way on.
Anyway, Doug Quaid, mild-mannered factory worker who is married to the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale (American accent when married, English accent when trying to kill Husband – why? Are cut-glass accents illegal within marriage?) keeps having dreams about being chased/Jessica Biel. He goes to Rekall where it turns out (or does it?) that he isn’t really Doug Quaid. No, he’s actually Jason Bourne. First he despatches a few dozen men with his lightening fast Treadstone training (NOTHING like that sequence in the park in ‘The Bourne Identity’), whilst a 2nd team of highly trained goons spend what seems like an eternity building a digital duplicate of the room, rather than simply looking through a keyhole, giving Jason adequate time to facilitate a daring escape. Then he finds a bank account number in his body and goes to retrieve a safety deposit box from a bank in a manner not exactly dissimilar to a sequence in an adaptation of a Robert Ludlum book.
The whole thing (can I say plot?) is just some extraordinarily convoluted plan to kill American speaking Bill Nighy so that Old McWiggy can act out the plot for ‘I, Robot’. I think. There’s a lot of running and chasing involved and at some point the toupee buys it and Jason lives to fight another day.
The core concept of Phillip K Dick’s short story is so brilliant that someone really ought to make a cracking film out of it. And they did 22 years ago. I’m not against remakes/re-imagination in the long term as long as they are valid, but if you’re going to redo something; have a point. Total Recall 2012 doesn’t have a point, or characters that I care about, a plot that makes any real sense or any sustained tension or excitement. It does have a woman with 3 breasts though. But then, so did Verhoeven’s version along with characters that I care about, a plot that makes sense and all the thrills and spills you’d expect from a film by a mad Dutchman starring the Austrian Oak.
Plead with people not to see this and tell them to go and watch something that sends Hollywood a message; we like good films, make more of them please.