Reviews

Total Recall

2

Get your ass to the original

Total Recall might be the most ridiculous sci-fi film since Timecop.

It lurches from one scenario to the next with so little interest in logic or common sense that it starts to resemble a gazillion-dollar episode of the ’60s Batman series.

By the time gorgeous Hollywood star Kate Beckinsale sneers at gorgeous Hollywood star Colin Farrell and says, with a straight face, “Do you think someone like me would actually end up with someone like you?” (erm, yes?), Recall has already careened off the tracks and barrelled full-bore into accidental satire.

Borrowing the basic premise of Philip K. Dick’s source story and jettisoning most of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 adap (although the three-boobed hooker makes her expected appearance), Recall introduces us to a future where mass chemical warfare has devastated much of the world.

Two hives of civilisation remain: Britain and Australia (aka “The Colony”).

Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston runs the former and wants to invade the latter, with an army of suspiciously Star Wars-y robot soldiers.

Colin Farrell’s a working stiff who, after an abortive visit to memory-implant company ‘Rekall’, learns he’s really a spy sworn to overthrow the government.

Along the way, there’s a love triangle involving Jessica Biel and Beckinsale, who beat each other to a pulp many times. And that’s most of the movie: fistfights and core-of-the-Earth elevator rides.

For about 40 minutes Len Wiseman delivers a CG-lacquered spectacle that’s soullessly efficient. Then it’s just soulless.

Total Recall 2012 never stops moving, things never stop blowing up and it never ends.

At least Timecop was only 99 minutes.

Verdict:

Entertaining in small doses, but gruelling at two hours, Wiseman’s derivative, spec-hackular upgrade bins the twisted wit and meaty thrills of the Arnie original.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • apo1978

      Aug 17th 2012, 12:37

      Good! It look awful even from the trailers. Hopefully this will be a wake-up call to Hollywood to stop cashing in on lousy remakes/re-boots. Needs to fail at the box office though....please!!!!! I'm sure every 15 year old out there will deny my wish and proclaim it as the "bestest moovie evaaaaaa" whilst hardly watching it and texting on their phone contiunously. BARK!

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    • KerrAvon

      Aug 17th 2012, 14:41

      "Hopefully this will be a wake-up call to Hollywood to stop cashing in on lousy remakes/re-boots." Doubt that. With this, the new Bourne and Expendables 2 all a bit duff it looks like its time to dig out the classic. "Benny screw you!"

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    • Hadouken76

      Aug 17th 2012, 18:34

      "For about 40 minutes Len Wiseman delivers a CG-lacquered spectacle that’s soullessly efficient. Then it’s just soulless." Well that just sums up Wisemans' entire movie career, doesnt it? This is the guy that wouldn't even allow John Mclane to spout his famous catchphrase. Paul WS Anderson maybe the merchant of shyte,but at least he has 'Event Horizon' (still better than Prometheus) to keep him from being entirely pointless.

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    • MadMatt

      Aug 17th 2012, 22:12

      Can't say I'm surprised, but I am relieved that this review is negative. There seems to have been an upswell of idiots online denigrating the original as 'camp' so I was expecting them to lap up a po-faced 'gritty' retread. Paul Verhoeven's movie isn't camp, it's funny - and intentionally so. But because it's funny some modern audiences think it can't possibly be intelligent as well. That's a very depressing indictment of current audience tastes, but thankfully the fact this has flopped suggests the miserablists on websites might be in the minority. Two duff remakes in a row for Farrell, yet his trailer for an original movie by the director of In Bruges looks great. Hollywood might not learn from this experience (they'll blame the film flopping on the Olympics or the Batman shooting) but Farrell can certainly learn from it. Stick to quirky indies and leave classic genre movies alone, mate.

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    • MadMatt

      Aug 17th 2012, 22:14

      Sorry, THREE duff remakes for Farrell. I forgot Miami Vice. (Although that certainly had its moments.)

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    • SaveFerris

      Aug 19th 2012, 17:32

      I was hoping this would be Len Wiseman's first good movie, as the trailers looked quite promising, but no, he's messed up again. Hollywood - stop letting him direct stuff, he sucks!

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    • keefcross

      Aug 20th 2012, 3:01

      EVERYBODY ABOVE ME IS CRAZY! TOTAL RECALL WAS ONE OF THE BEST, MOST ORIGINAL, SCI-FI FLICK THAT I'VE SEEN SINCE MINORITY REPORT!.... ITS ONLY FLAW WAS THAT IT CALLED ITSELF TOTAL RECALL...., IT SHOULD HAVE NAMED ITSELF SOMETHING ENTIRELY DIFFERENT....., THAT WAY ALL THESE CRITICS WOULD'NT KEEP COMPARING IT TO A MOVIE THAT GOT THESE SAME BAD REVIEWS UPON ITS RELEASE, BUT IS NOW PRAISED AS A CLASSIC FOR NOSTALGIA'S SAKE....I KNOW ONE THING, IT WAS A WHOLE HELLUVA LOT BETTER THAN THAT GOD-AWFUL DARK KNIGHT RISES!!!

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    • MikeyRix

      Aug 20th 2012, 11:42

      @keefcross Dude, your caps is broken, I think you need to either replace it, or hmm, take it off altogether?

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    • MadMatt

      Aug 20th 2012, 16:10

      @keefcross - Nostalgia has nothing to do with it; Total Recall is a very clever, very funny film, a brilliant satire and a kick-a*s action movie all in one. And you think the remake is "the best, most original sci-fi flick"... which took characters, ideas, lines of dialogue and whole scenes from a twenty year-old film, and art design from every other sci-fi movie made in the last thirty years. I'm guessing you're either about 12 years old, incredibly stupid or on powerful medication. Back away from the keyboard and keep taking the tablets.

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    • FBKHaych

      Aug 20th 2012, 17:50

      if it has a sex scene with farrell i'll give it a watch. :)

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    • keefcross

      Aug 21st 2012, 5:50

      @MADMATT, WOW MAN,you sound pretty angry at my harmless movie review, sorry i called you "CRAZY", I guess i deserve to be called an incredibly stupid 12 year old on medication! LOL! GOOD ONE, I would've responded sooner but i was getting some p***y (ever seen that movie? didnt think so) maybe YOU should back away from the keyboard,for 5 minutes, and do the same thing..... ANYWAY, I never said Total Recall wasnt a classic, i love that movie...and how can you talk about the remake taking, "characters, ideas, and lines of dialogue and whole scenes from a 20 year old film" when they both come from the same book??!! And my EXACT words were "TOTAL RECALL WAS ONE OF THE BEST, MOST ORIGINAL, SCI-FI FLICK THAT I'VE SEEN SINCE MINORITY REPORT!." Excuse the hell out of me!!

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    • FBDBullock

      Aug 21st 2012, 6:48

      That's EXACTLY it, it's a remake of Timecop. I was at the Premiere last week and as much as I wanted to love it, it's so disjointed that it's empty. The comparing or re-working, or a re-boot doesn't matter and does not affect the original, this version is still devoid of heart. Farrell, Biel are absolutely fine, Beckinsale seems to think she's in Underworld. I would go on but SPOILERS. ;-p 2/5 is spot on.

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    • GarthMarenghi

      Aug 23rd 2012, 17:51

      @keefcross - You've obviously never read the source material. It's not a book, it's a (very) short story. Hardly any plot, just a cool idea. The lead character has a different name in the story, characters were created specifically for the film which appear in both versions, and all the key images, lines of dialogue and scenes stem from Total Recall's screenplay, not Dick's story. Get your facts straight before going off on one. And considering your posts are all-caps shouty rants, I don't think you can get miffed at someone being 'angry' at you.

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    • keefcross

      Aug 24th 2012, 5:38

      @garthmarenghi, WHOA... you actually read the total recall screenplay??! i bow out of this debate for i have clearly been outdorked...DONT BE MIFFED AT ME!

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    • TheShamrock

      Aug 28th 2012, 12:01

      I took the decision to ignore this review since its opening gambit was to abuse Timecop! Sometimes you're not after realism in a sci-fi movie - you want ridiculous. I was very sceptical when I first heard this was being remade but thought the trailers looked half decent so I'm still going to give it a go. See you at the party

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    • LSJShez

      Aug 31st 2012, 16:39

      You gave it one star too many TF. It's been twenty four hours, and I'm struggling to come up with anything memorable at all; apart from maybe the stupid "homages" to the original. Anyone with any love for the original should stay well away and spend their time praying the other PV remakes aren't on a par with this. My first two lines pretty much cover it, but you have to mention the cast. I've nothing against Farrell at all, I just don't think Hollywood know how to use him. In this, he's just dull. Biel, the same. Beckinsale looks great, but obviously got the gig through her husband, who seems to be going out of his way to make the Resident Evil films look good. Oh, and Cranston. WTF is he doing? He's the main man in Breaking Bad, and spends his time off in this.

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    • Indianabones

      Sep 1st 2012, 10:27

      Is Keefcross Dalidabs Straight Brother?

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    • keefcross

      Sep 1st 2012, 17:25

      TOTAL RECALL!!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

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    • MovieMash

      Sep 2nd 2012, 10:45

      "Can't say I'm surprised, but I am relieved that this review is negative" - That's exactly the same feeling about that film that brought me here.As a huge K.Dick fan I've been looking forward to see that film for weeks..and god..what a load of c**p. This film was so promising and had everything: Need a story ? K.Dick's book plus the excellent Paul Verhoeven’s film to use as a canvas for your own. Need an action-hero type of actor that looks fit and does his stunts ? You get Colin Farell. Need a couple of hot babes to succeed Sharon Stone's sexiness ? You get Biel and Beckinsale. Then you get awesome CGI and special FX specialists, talented designers who managed to recreate that very unique atmosphere from Blade Runner, an amazing cyber-punk looking futuristic city...That film had everything, everything to be the next top of the range sci-fi blockbuster..But unfortunately there was a spanner in the works: They looked for a screenwriter, and they had Kurt Wimmer. The man of the 'Ultraviolet' fiasco. His only talent being that he is still hired as a screenwriter after he screwed up a few potentially great films (Equilibrium) with his utterly s****y and cheesy dialogues. The first 40 minutes of Total Recall 2012 are awesome but then again Kurt's print (or I should say skidmark) gets more and more visible, the characters have no substance, there's no story, and it's a flat succession of action scene after action scene with retarded dialogues in between. Len Wiseman should have fired him halfway through, just like he's been sacked during the making of the 1995 film 'tough b*****d'. When you realise all the ingredients of success this film had, the talented actors (yes, the fact they have accepted to act on Wimmer's script is an honourable challenge..I can just imagine Beckinsale thinking oh my god do I actually have to say that s**t?) the most talented folks from hollywood studios to create an amazing cyberpunk world, and Wiseman managed to screw up this film totally despite he had such a very secured block buster hit just because he hired a fancy, good looking schmuck that shouldn't have been allowed to write any movie script in the first place. It's like driving a lamborghini on an empty straight lined country road for half a mile and arrive too late. You still wonder how he managed to fail this so miserably. Total Recall definitely needs a recall. And please this time, get yourself a qualified screen writer.That's all.

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    • Pearceyy96

      Sep 5th 2012, 10:48

      Well I thought it was class... But that just shows that I enjoy action and don't care about storyline.

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    • ProjectJames

      Oct 12th 2012, 11:06

      5

      My favourite movie, hands down. Way better than the original. I do appreciate the fact the original was made in 1990, so the effects won't be as good as nowadays but even so, the story wasn't as exciting as this remake, acting was shockingly wooden, lack of action and most dissapointingly, there was no futuristic feel. But, Total Recall 2012 has everything the old one didn't. From mind blowing visuals, the landscape of the cities, non stop action that makes Transformers/Batman/James Bond action scenes look tame and best of all the cast! Colin Farrell is excellent when it comes to fighting and delivering an overall smashing performance. Beckinsale and Biel look sexy in every single camera shot and they too are equally as spectacular, Bryan Cranston is such a sinister bad guy, loved him in this and John Cho gave a short but sharp performance as does Bokeem Woodbine. I know people are gonna totally disagree to this review, some will probably swear and get arrogant as most people do online nowadays but my opinion is set, best movie of 2012, best sci-fi action movie and my favourite movie.

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    • bobsmith

      Dec 22nd 2012, 15:20

      I wish I could just go out and buy this for myself, but I’m a little over spent because of the holidays. I did however add this movie to my Blockbuster @Home queue. I found out about Blockbuster because a co-worker of mine at DISH pointed out to me that it’s better to rent movies instead of buying them new. I’ve had Blockbuster for a while now and I use it mainly for movies and video games, but like how I can also stream movies too, all for the same low monthly fee. If I do happen to like this movie as much as the original, then I’ll consider getting it to own later on down the road.

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    • lpt0901

      Dec 28th 2012, 12:10

      I have reviewed this film on my blog nutsaboutfilm com please let me know what you think would really appreciate some feed back as I am brand new to this. Thanks

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