Total Recall (2012)
Directed by Len Wiseman
Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston
The stories of the late Philip K. Dick have found their way onto the big screen time and time again. The list of films that have pulled from his work include movies like Paycheck, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau just to name a few. This time his story, We Can Remember It for You Wholesale, was given a second movie treatment. The first attempt was the 1990 hit film of the same name, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. This version of the film stars Colin Farrell (Horrible Bosses, Minority Report) Kate Beckinsale (The Aviator, Pearl Harbor), Jessica Biel (Valentine’s Day, The Illusionist), and Bryan Cranston (Drive).
Douglas Quaid (Farrell) is another poor factory worker in the Colony. Along with his wife (Beckinsale), he’s hoping for something more than the life he has. To get some new memories and cheer himself up, Doug visits Rekall. Soon his whole world is turned upside-down as he begins to suspect that he’s a part of an underground rebellion. Now he’s on the run from the government, looking for help in finding out who he really is.
I have to admit, I haven’t seen the 1990 version of this film in ages. From what I remember, this is a much better version of the story. The action and suspense worked wonderfully for me. I am not really the biggest fan of science-fiction, but this movie hooked me from the beginning. The pace of the movie kept things interesting, and avoided having any slow or boring moments.
The acting in this film was also really good. I think all of the main characters were well-played by the cast. The script was also well-written and avoided any pointless monologues or overly technical moments. The cast took all of these qualities and ran with them.
Another strength of this film is the wonderful visual effect work. The movie looked amazing from beginning to end. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one win some awards for special effects or visual effects. This included a created world that felt very futuristic and very real all at once.
I’m sure some people will be disappointed with the parallels with the original film. This didn’t bother me, especially with the number of remakes we’ve seen over the last few years. I think this movie just brought the story to a new level, with every aspect exceeding the 1990 version. The acting alone is worth revisiting the story.
I would recommend this for science-fiction fans, action junkies, suspense nuts, or anyone who loves the stars of the film. The movie isn’t for everyone though. It is a film for mature audiences, with some language and a lot of violence. I give this one 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Beckinsale didn’t work for me. I just didn’t find her believable in the role, but otherwise, I really liked it. I, too, haven’t seen the original in ages, but I found this one keeping my interest.
I know we disagree on her role, but I’m glad we both enjoyed the movie as a whole.