This week’s movie is a new release! I speak of Total Recall, the 2012 reboot of the movie with the same name. To be clear, I have never seen the old 1990 movie. I plan on changing that very soon but this review will be a non-biased reboot review. Is this the epitome of a summer action film? You bet. But read on to find out more.
In the not too distant future the world has been rendered uninhabitable by events following World War III. The two places left which have been left for human colonization are the United Federation of Britain (UBF) and The Colony. Connecting the two colonies is a gravity elevator called “The Fall”. Finding his life to be mundane and brought on by strange dreams, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) attempts to change his life by going to Rekall, a seedy company that implants memories into the subject. McClane (John Cho), manager of Rekall begins the implant of the spy memories when he accuses him of being a spy himself. Having taken out an armed military group with his bare hands, Douglas runs home to find that even his life with his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) was a sham. Not knowing if he can even trust himself, he gets help from Melina (Jessica Biel) who claims that his real name is Carl Hauser, a high level science technician working with Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston). He has to now choose which life of his is real: Douglas Quaid or Carl Hauser.
Let me just say that I am a huge fan of conspiracy theory movies. I really dig the big brother watching over someone else storyline. Both the 2012 and 1990 Total Recall films draw inspiration from the short story “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” which uses the false memory pretense as a plot point. Director Len Wiseman mixes the lines of fantasy and reality perfectly well. He has been in charge of other successful films such as Underworld and Life Free or Die Hard, both of which are equally successful in my opinion.
Total Recall scratches that perfect balance of which reality is real and which is false although I thought that it could have had more sway on both sides which would have given a sense of morality. While some people think that this would probably be confusing, I think it would have added a lot more depth.
I typically don’t like Colin Ferrell as an actor and I can’t say that I’m usually a fan of his work but in Total Recall I think that he was perfectly cast. He has a perfect confused scowl on his face that lends itself perfectly for the story seeing as how he is being pushed back and forth between the two lives. Other actors of importance are Kate Backinsale and Jessica Biel, both of which play really strong roles. Unfortunately the acting in Total Recall is one of the weaker points as I didn’t feel particularly connected to one character or another because of their performances. You could just say that they were all doing the best they could in their roles.
Despite the average acting, the story really is the best part of the new Total Recall movie and not having seen the 1990 Schwarzenegger film I can easily recommend this remake to anyone looking for a good action flick. It is filled with intrigue and suspense that is properly balanced with decent action set pieces that it should keep the average moviegoer wanting more at the end.