Total Recall Reviews
August 16, 2014
Why did this need to exist? And why was it just a mash-up of other, better movies? And why did I sit through the whole thing?
August 19, 2013
Great concept, but too bad it was already done 100 times better back in 1990. I am having total recall of how much better the original Total Recall actually is. This remake does pay homage to the original in many aspects, but it is an abomination to have the original modernized and remade.
August 6, 2014
It must just be me but I thought it a great si-fi movie, brilliant action, and kate Beckinsale as the wife from Hell who just can't be stopped was great fun!
August 5, 2014
A mess of visual effects with a formulaic action story.
August 4, 2014
Pretty but a stupid waste of time. This story is so messy and nonsensical, the acting is hackneyed at best and completely lacks the spirit and fun of the original.
July 29, 2014
Great film! The intrigue is quite amazing. The effects are spectacular and the props are very realistic. Would like to feel what it is like to go through the Core....
July 8, 2012
With little expectation to enjoy the remake of Total Recall because it was an unnecessary remake of a cheesy 1990's science fiction classic, I went in simply for hopes of good action scenes, and the trailer revealed that it was not too much to ask for.
Like I said, Total Recall is a serious example of a film that cannot be remade. The original was both an internally complex and interesting science fiction film and an action vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger full of cheesy humour and groundbreaking themes. In the 2012 remake, the themes are all familiar because they have been previously covered in the original film, and so the plot, subject matter and setting are changed. Instead of being about putting an end to a corporate rule over society on mars, it is about putting an end to the totalitarian rule of a dystopian society which is segregated. The original theme was more interesting while the new one is one that has been covered in too many other science fiction films for it to be anything short of familiar. Total Recall was a film that did not to be remade, and the fact that it was remade into a film with a generic science fiction story which lacks the originality of the original.
All in all, the problem comes down to the plotting. The script is fine and even though it tries and fails to be insightful, it manages to pass without having any moments that I found to be bad. But the problem comes into the story because it has few of the good themes from the original movie and nothing good that is new. It is a dull science fiction tale this time around which loses track of its memory concept about halfway through only to turn into a basic action film which ends up a bit too similar to many other science fiction films. I would associate the remake of Total Recall more with films like The Fifth Element due to its style and some of its plot elements than with the original Total Recall. If you changed the title of the film, altered small plot elements and references to the original film, Total Recall could be passed off as something else because as a remake it will always suffer in comparison to the original while also being rather bland and forgettable. There is little in Total Recall that hasn't been seen before, so it is not worth getting too excited about.
The visual experience of Total Recall was actually pretty impressive. The science fiction setting was really great because the universe was depicted with a production design which felt futuristic and yet contemporary at the same time, and while it had top notch visual effects, it was able to use them in moderation. Total Recall capitalises on a good futuristic production design for its interior settings while mainly using visual effects for its exterior scenes which means that there is a strong balance in them. Everything in Total Recall looks cool, and so it stands out from a technical standpoint.
The action scenes in Total Recall are very stylish because of the fact that they blend visual effects with skilled choreography and are filmed with extensive shots and edited at a gentle pace instead of being excessively choppy like half the other action films of modern day. Although there is not enough of them to actually render the film a solid feature, the action scenes in Total Recall are impressive and fairly entertaining. And in a world where action cinema is dominated by excessive reliance on visual effects or choppy editing, Total Recall is able to capitalise on some of the best elements of the former while using none of the latter.
But when it comes to the acting, Total Recall finds itself coming up short most of the time.
You can see that Colin Farrell takes on the role as he has the look of an everyman and not a big action hero like Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he manages to put up a decent fight as an action hero. But when it comes to acting, he is not up to the challenge. Douglas Quaid is a character that nobody could ever play better than Arnold Schwarzenegger because the man is a cheesy action hero, and in the remake he is way too much of a serious figure. The issue with this is that the film takes itself in a lot more serious direction and so Colin Farrell has to do the same. He simply fails to do that because all of his emotions are projected way too subtly. He doesn't physically convey a threatened status and his line delivery is too monotonous for him to grasp the intended emotional concepts that the film puts fourth. All in all, Colin Farrell is easily able to grasp the ability to play an action hero well because he puts up a fight, acts quickly and grasps his weapons with confidence. But none of these can overshadow the fact that at heart, his performance is simply poor form for the leading role. Colin Farrell cannot justify his casting too well in Total Recall, and while he can play an everyman and an action hero, he cannot play an actual character in this film.
Jessica Biel isn't especially bad in Total Recall, but she isn't able to justify any reason to call her a good actress. She makes a decent duo with Colin Farrell despite the limit of how far that can go, and she handles her weapons well enough, but when it comes to acting that is an entirely different issue. Jessica Biel fails to be able to tune her physical emotions in with her internal ones and so her line delivery does not match her physicality as she overacts with her body movements but underacts with her line delivery which just makes her entire performance inconsistent and not that impressive. You can see that she's trying, but even though she doesn't have too much of a character, she really is a limited actress.
Bryan Cranston is the one actor who actually manages to prove himself impressive in Total Recall. You can expect nothing less from him because the man is a genius as an actor, and so in his brief role as antagonist Chancellor Vilos Cohaagen he manages to make the film worth seeing if just to please fans. Bryan Cranston dominates the screen with a powerful hold over his character and fills the part with firm and unmatched dominance which just steals the screen. He just performs without problem in Total Recall and makes a great villain.
John Cho makes a good cameo as well.
So despite some impressive action scenes and great technical qualities, Total Recall lacks the originality, complexity and humour of the original while replacing it with dull storytelling and a lack of involvement in what is happening.
July 27, 2014
Kate Backinsale's the one who made this movie alive
July 21, 2014
Not a bad movie, but the original is significantly better in my opinion.
July 19, 2014
mmmm entretenida nada mas
April 5, 2012
I can't believe they are remaking this!
"Get your ass to Mars!"
March 17, 2013
I came into this with reasonable expectations, but I was blown away! Better than I was expecting, still not an excellent movie (but solid). One of the biggest surprises of the last two years, I have a hard time giving something this creative any less than a 7/10 because this movie rocked.
July 12, 2014
I can't understand people's objection to this film!?!! I like clever, original, good quality films, I never go for blockbusters or mass-produced hollywood tripe. And I loved this film! The vision of the world, though unceasingly dystopian, is believable; the desperate search for the, almost intangible, truth behind the twisted conspiracy into which the main character is thrown is clever and utterly engaging; the plot, refreshingly unpredictable. Watching this film again, I still have no idea (spoiler alert) whether any of it actually happened and occasions like the unexpected appearance and subsequent showdown with his old friend suddenly take on a new light. I still can't tell whether this was a far-fetched last-ditch ploy to rein in a rouge agent, or the only moment of reality in the whole film.
And I'm sure this is intentional; the entire overriding, yet tantalisingly subtle, theme of whether all of this 'reality' is in reality, reality, or a dream within a memory, within a chemical infusion of mind-altering drugs gone wrong, in a machine to churn out better memories in a back-street memory-shop throws up paradoxes and comprehension contradictions, that I'm not sure I will ever fully solve. And I wouldn't want it any other way.
In short, it is brilliant and when you start to grasp the meta-story orbiting so many light-years above the barest ground-level understanding of the story, it becomes incredible. Watch it, and don't be afraid of low ratings, you have bigger things to deal with.
After all, in reality you're probably not really here reading this, and this review never really happened...
July 11, 2014
This movie was actually a pretty pleasant surprise. I took a chance buying this thing, despite the mixed reviews I had heard previously, and am more than happy to say that this movie was well worth my time and money. The premise itself deals with the topic of how dreams and illusions can be confuse with reality, and at points, it really did screw with my mind in a manner that recalled the first time I watched Inception. And just about all the other times I've watched it, come to think of it.... Any who, this movie isn't as deep or complex as Inception, but it is an undeniably cool premise, backed up by great performances, kick-ass action sequences, and awesome special effects. An immensely entertaining popcorn flick.
June 2, 2014
Does not live up to the original with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Colin Farrell is somewhat miscast imho, wasn't that believable, but the ladies are pretty :) and the recreation of the world in the future is fabulous, the Colony reminds me of another classic scifi movie, "Blade Runner: (which funnily enough is based on another PKD work of art).
The script is not significantly changed from the original version and this helps a lot!!! Where they did change it, they did it smoothly and kept the story interesting and logical.
Rings very non-scifi since the context is very close to home - draws upon our current experience with terrorist attacks and measures against those with the general population.
Have to read now "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick which is the basis for both movies and it's for sure a brilliant story.
August 5, 2012
A friend of mine, who is a really big fan of the 1990 original, lent me a copy of the Schwarzenegger 'classic' in order to watch before I saw this remake. And thank the movie gods, he did, because had I not seen the original first, I don't there is anything on this earth that would make me want to revisit this story again after watching this! There are three main reasons why this film falls flat for me: First, the casting, and I'm not talking about Colin Farrell. For the angle that the director and writers were going for, I thought Farrell was a good choice and carried his part well. I'm talking mostly about Kate Beckinsale. Her presence in this film was doomed from the start when the writers decided to combine Sharon Stone's wife and Michael Ironside's Richter into one character for this remake. This tricky feat might have been able to be pulled off had the very bland Beckinsale have an ounce of the charisma of Stone or the supporting talent of Ironside. And the director couldn't seem to take the camera off her! Second, the film does a admirable job at building a dystopian future. In fact, I'd say this is the one area that the remake improves upon the original (dumping the Mars subplot, although less fun, gives the film a little more authenticity). However, a complete overuse of CGI and sound takes the viewer completely out of this believability the makers of this film were apparently going for. And finally I found it rather annoying that a composer as talented as Harry Gregson-Williams would so blatantly rip off the recent terrific music of Hans Zimmer's Inception and Dark Knight soundtracks.
February 3, 2013
When a humble factory worker accidentally discovers that he is a spy whose memory has been erased lines will be crossed,alliances made and the fate of an entire nation will be put to the test.Great action sequences,special effects and story make 'Total Recall' a great film for sci fi fans and fans.
July 5, 2013
No one can replace Arnold no matter how much you change the story.
July 29, 2012
I was a huge fan of the 1991 original movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Since it has been over twenty years for that version, the special effects are way dated. I'm looking forward to this updated version even though I am no fan of Colin Farrell.
July 28, 2012
Actually found myself enjoying this movie more than I thought I would. The used some similar themes from the original which are entertaining if you've familiar with the original material. The effects are good and the story is okay. Definitely watchable as a rental.