Total Recall - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Total Recall Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 25, 2015
Okay, so its not the original, but what is any more? What is "original", f'cryinoutloud? Ain't it only a conceit? Taken on its own merits then, there's plenty of action and adventure here - they're in some futuristic environment - with plenty of chases and shooting and punching robot stormtroopers, the meat and potatoes this genre demands, so what else do ya want? Bad reputations aren't always justified. This delivers the goods.
Super Reviewer
½ March 15, 2013
May not have the charme of Schwarzenegger's original, but delivers non-stop chases and action in a pretty cool production design. Entertaining enough!
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2013
You can skip this one.
Super Reviewer
½ April 22, 2013
I'm a big fan of the original. Arnold's humor is my favorite part. This new one takes itself very seriously. That's not good. The film, after a good start and middle, falls apart at the end. From the moment Bryan Cranston arrives on the scene, the deterioration begins -- and I love Cranston. But the story has no convincing finish. Not a must see for everyone, but an almost-must see for fans of the original. It's nice to see the way they've integrated their references to the original.
Super Reviewer
½ May 26, 2011
A very decent film in it's own right, and no it's not a straight remake! If you watch the first film again today it sure does look dated now. The main theme or plot is similar but put into a different context and setting altogether. The technology you see in the film was very interesting as well and there is plenty of action and very good SFX. It has a few nods towards the old film but seems to borrow elements from a number of Sci-Fi films including Blade Runner, especially for the look of the city. Even Star Wars Attack of the clones, Robocop. Throw in Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale, it's not a bad way to treat your eyes for 2 hours!
Super Reviewer
½ May 1, 2012
Such a shame and waste of a unique plot and talented cast couldnt pull this action packed mess together!
The action should keep you entertained to a degree but if your looking for more then you'll be sorely disappointed.
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2012
Okay, technically this may just be another adaptation to the same written work, rather than a remake. It might even be a more faithful adaptation. However, it's still going to be forever compared regardless. While visually exciting, with a lot of very cool future technology portrayed on screen. It just lacks the dramatic punch of the first movie.
Super Reviewer
½ December 19, 2010
"Total Recall was a action packed blast. I like movies with a lot of action. It leaves less room to get bored with the film. I love me some Colin farrell and he's at his best in films like these. Kate and Biel are some badass chicks and hold their own in this as well.
I've never seen the original Total Recall for the simple fact that I don't care for Arnold. I know, shocking. But maybe if I get some replys on how great it is I might just change my mind and give it a shot.
It was the perfect film for a rainy stormy night that I am having. Action packed, good plot, and some nice eye candy. I'd see it again."
Super Reviewer
½ January 24, 2013
Without Paul Verhoeven's stylistic direction, Arnold's charm, or the unique Mars setting, this remake of Total Recall has nothing to distinguish itself from every other generic science fiction thriller. Despite better actors & actresses at nearly every role, none of them are able to make the characters stand out like the original. Michael Ironside is surely missed, and morphing his and Sharon Stone's character into one so that Kate Beckinsale gets more screen time is a mistake. All of the intriguing aspects of the original's storyline have been toned down because there's no Mars setting or director willing to embrace the weirdness of the story. Len Wiseman plays it far too straight and makes it to where the story is basically a carbon copy of the original, but without the heart and soul. There's literally no reason for them to move the setting from Mars and they don't offer a compelling alternative. Of course, the special effects are a massive upgrade from the original, but what Verhoeven's team did in 1990 remains way more impressive than this dime a dozen affair. We've seen better special effects, despite them being competently done, and in this day & age it isn't hard to do. The action also lacks the visceral gore of the original and just isn't as entertaining and stylish. There was very little reason to remake Total Recall and this version is a far inferior film. If you are interested please just go watch the original instead, especially if you have never seen it.
Super Reviewer
April 9, 2011
A mind-blowing and spectacular edge of your seat action-packed thrill-machine. A total blast from start to finish, it blows the original film away in every way possible. A sci-fi thriller that's both smart, stylish and sexy. It delivers some solid and mind-bending twist that kick start your heart and make your pulse quicken. An explosively entertaining and adrenaline-charged action movie that is just plain awesome. A knockout that you will love. Director, Len Wiseman crafts a clever and fun epic that delivers loads of sizzling suspense, eye-popping special effects and powerhouse action sequences around every corner and has you wanting more. A stellar all-star cast. Colin Farrell is riveting, showing off his movie star charisma as well as his action hero chops. Kate Beckinsale is excellent. Jessica Biel is terrific. Bryan Cranston is fantastic. This film is what spectacular action blockbusters are all about. An instant classic. This film just rocks and is too much fun to handle. A must-see.
Super Reviewer
½ August 3, 2012
There's only one reason to watch this movie, the beautifully rendered Sci Fi set-pieces and environments. The whole film is quite engaging on a visual level (the tech is pretty awesom too!) but outside of that... seems to simply fall flat.

An entire cast of boring generic characters (surprisingly, considering the actors involved). No chemistry to speak of and just some of the worst dialogue I've ever seen. The complete lack of charm/wit just doesn't help as we're served a main course of sub-par espionage.

It needed a compelling protagonist (Minority Report) or a bigger play on the whole mind-fuck aspect that kept us second guessing the whole reality of the situation (Inception) or just better humor so it wouldn't take itself so damn seriously (The your wife joke? Not funny the first time, won't be the next 3 times)

Seriously though, I wish there was a concept art book I could buy for the film. Loved the look of the slums and such.
Super Reviewer
December 9, 2012
four stars!!
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2012
Is it real Is it recall.

Good movie! Ultimately, Total Recall 2012 is one big amusement park ride. This will probably be enjoyable for anyone in for an average CG action adventure extravaganza and have no knowledge of the fun blockbuster the first one was, but for the rest of us who have seen Paul Verhoeven's version, this one definitely pales in comparison, in story, action and just plain fun. And Arnold Schwarzenegger was in his prime then, with big shoes that didn't get filled this time round.

For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he's got a beautiful wife who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man as he finds himself on the run from the police.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2012
Remakes are usually a touchy subject and with good reason. A lot of them fail to retain the same energetic intensity of the original. Although not as great as the Paul Verhoeven classic, this remake is nonetheless better than what most critics have claimed it to be. Exiting from start to finish, this reboot manages to capture the essence of the original, while creating something refreshing as well. There are some terrific performances here as well such as Bryan Cranston who delivers a stunning and powerful performance as Cohagen. Direction wise, director Len Wiseman is a good choice to direct this film and he has made good films such as Underworld and Live Free or Die Hard, and he is able to craft a solid an engaging action film that is constantly thrilling. I'm very picky when it comes to remakes, but I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed this version of Total Recall as much as the original, and was a fun, entertaining film that will surely please action fans. This is one of the better action flicks out there, and it's not as bad as everyone claims it to be. If you loved the original, give this one a chance. Both have something interesting to tell, though the original is superior; this version is terrific nonetheless. All in all, this film surprised me and I'm glad it exceeded my expectations. I didn't expect much out of this remake, but this is among the few really entertaining remakes that actually are worth seeing. Based on Philip K. Dick's We Can Remember It For You Wholesale", this film adds a new angle to Dick's classic Sci Fi tale. Both version of the film are well constructed action picture that are worth seeing.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2012
"If I'm not me, then who the hell am I?"

A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Rekall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.

I totally recall the 1990 movie version of Philip K Dick's short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" as both exciting and entertaining. Arnold Schwarzenegger as manual worker Doug Quiad brought a certain vulnerability to the role as this mountain of man who had no idea what was going on and Dutch director Paul Verhoeven gave a real verve to the whole production. Sadly this remake 22 years later is something of a disappointment, although some critics have been overly harsh. Colin Farrell now in the lead role is a far better actor than Arnie but the pace is so frenetic that he is not given much opportunity to display his thespian talents.

The role of his 'wife' - memorably filled by Sharon Stone in the original - now goes to Kate Beckinsale (wife of director Len Wiseman) and is much expanded from the first outing, so that the part of the rebel agent, originally taken by Rachel Tocotin and now played by Jessica Biel, is rather underwritten. It seems perverse to call a remake derivative, but so much of this version of "Total Recall" reminds one not just of the original film, but of so many other sci-fi movies: the world of the workers looks like "Blade Runner", the flying cars evokes "The Fifth Element", the synthetic troops are retreads of either the Storm Troopers or the clones from "Star Wars" films, even the relentless pursuit by Beckinsale's character echoes Arnie in the first "Terminator" movie. Oddly this work is both too dark, in that there is rarely enough lighting, and not dark enough, in that - unlike the original - there is little ambiguity about whether the whole thing is a dream.
Super Reviewer
July 15, 2012
I don't remember much about the original Arnie movie. This version is fast paced and intriguing. Colin Farrell is great fighting for his identity and life. The two female leads are disappointing. Very wooden performances. If you like Bladerunner, Fifth Element, Minority Report or A.I. you will enjoy this movie.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2012
Definitely not worse than the original but it's hard to see anything better. Full review later.
Super Reviewer
½ August 1, 2012
An unnecessary and gloomy remake devoid of the charming nonsense that made the original movie so intriguing. Besides, it has a ridiculous excess of lens flares everywhere and endless action scenes that make the movie become quite repetitive after a while.
Super Reviewer
½ August 31, 2012
Well I think Scott may have a hard time trying to impress us with 'Blade Runner 2' if he goes ahead with it. Seeing as this film has pretty much made the perfect interpretation of what a bleak futuristic heavily Asian populated/influenced city will look like by today's standards.

That is probably the only plus point about this new remake that I can give, the visuals. The rain soaked, dark, grimy, oily mechanical looking distopian Earth cities of the future are rendered quite beautifully. Both the 'the United Federation of Britain' and 'the Colony' look fantastic as you sweep across them during the film, not that I was surprised by this of course, it was inevitable that this element would be the films biggest asset.

This old 1990 version of 'Recall' was a loose adaptation of the Dick story, this new version is an even looser version ejecting almost all of the original material. There's no problem using some artistic license sure but why completely change everything?. If you do that's fine but then at least call the film something else, make it an original film stating influences, don't call it a remake/adaptation when its vastly different.

So the plot has almost completely nothing to do with the original Dick story, problem one. Problem two is the fact there isn't really anything new in this film we haven't seen already. You could almost say this film is 'I, Robot 2' or a mix of that film and a lot of 'Minority Report'. Yes the film looks sumptuous but it is your average vision of the future really, hover cars, hover trains, lots of holograms and lots of robots. The only new futuristic element I liked was the 'hand phone' and 'the fall' despite that concept being really quite unworkable in reality (I think!).

Touches on the old Verhoeven classic here and there, some small some in your face (three tits much!).   A short plump ugly woman with a bad looking red wig saying she's staying in the 'UFB' for two weeks. This time her head doesn't come off to reveal 'Quaid' which I'm sure your suppose to think hehe. The new version for this trick is neat but not nearly as fun, you could say the same for the whole film really.

Another issue I had was the inclusion of a big robot force. I didn't really like this direction as it touches way too much on previous films as I've mentioned already. I did also get the feeling robots were used so they could have lots of gun battle sequences but without having to show lots of blood and people getting shot. I'm not saying that kind of stuff equals a good film but the 1990 version is famed for its over the top bullet squibs and violence and in retrospect it makes this new film seem very childish (not to mention the old toy merchandise side of it these days).

As for cast its lackluster if you ask me. Farrell does a good job as 'Quaid' yes, you don't need huge muscles to make a film of course but the inclusion of Beckinsale was a mistake though. She does her whole 'Underworld' thing and not much else really plus you know she's in this simply because her husband is directing. The other bad choice was Cranston as 'Cohaagen' who just wasn't threatening enough in any way. He wasn't necessarily bad but he just didn't really give off much of an evil tyrant persona, in no way did he come across as a villain, just a regular futuristic suit.

This film isn't a bad effort I must admit, its not a frame by frame remake which is good but as with many films these days its too late to make an impact, been here and done it. The 1990 version was huge because it was original and boasted awesome violence and that classic Verhoeven black political satire. This looks crisp and impressive but simply can't muster the same punch with either action or cast.
On a final note the 1990 version never really did give away whether it was a dream or not. The fade to white at the end is the only clue to it possibly being a dream. This new film doesn't seem to try for that mystery a tall, its all for one direction.
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