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.
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.