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(I) (2012)

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No Mars, No Mutants, No soul
Legendary_Badass3 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I'm very much anti-remake. If the original worked, leave it alone. In the case of the 1990 Total Recall we had what was built to be the biggest movie yet made starring the biggest movie star around. Yep, that sounds like a viable candidate for remaking.

In a future where most of the Earth is decimated, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) can't shake his adventurous dreams. He heads to Rekall where vacations come in the form of memory transplants. In the process of becoming his own secret agent, Quaid discovers that his life is a lie. Wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale filling in for Sharon Stone but doubling for Michael Ironside and offering the best performance of the film) leads a chase to capture the awakened Quaid. Meanwhile freedom fighter Melina (Jessica Biel) attempts to persuade Quaid into finding his true identity and leading the cause against oppression.

This version of Total Recall does feature some upgrades. Of course visuals have come a long way. Where the original only had one computer-animated sequence involving primitive animated X-rays, this version has all the bells and whistles. There are maglev cars, a myriad of elevators, and a multitude of future housing developments. The art direction is noteworthy albeit not entirely original these days. You can see a frame of the 1990 version and understand immediately what you're looking at with its consumer-ready technology; do the same with this movie and it's another film looking back at Blade Runner. Fight sequences and most of the action come across as deft, if not too numerous.

The omission of the plot to free mars creates a chasm of asinine edits. The people at peril are never characterized. Since they aren't sassy mutants, there's trouble in understanding the context of early fan service. Only two inhabitable territories exist in the world. The Colony as it's called (Australia) fills in for Mars but since it's the early setting of the film there isn't anything majestic about reaching it. The film hops between the Colony and the controlling British Federation with early going ease that it fails to divide acts.

The lack of Arnold Schwarzenegger helps one appreciate Arnold Schwarzenegger. For someone considered a bad actor, we never actually won a Razzie—he actually got an honorary Razzie for failing to win the award, but did get a Golden Globe. Like Sylvester Stallone, Schwarzenegger's typical role at the time of the 1990 original, exuded masculinity. However, the difference is in the touches of humor that always cropped up in the Schwarzenegger films. One can't watch Predator without shouting to get to the chopper. Transversely Stallone's Rambo never brings the fun factor. Looking back at Total Recall (1990), little touches from Arnold make even the most gratuitous of Paul Verhoeven gore strangely comical. That odd nature interjects the ardor today's films overlook. This remake is clinical. No mars, no mutants, no soul.
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I expected a semi-decent film, and that's what I got
Ben_times_102 August 2012
When I heard the news that Total Recall was being remade, I was just as disappointed as most were out there. However, I never hate a film based on such a simple principle. Before the release, I was simply curious as to what direction they were going to take with this film.

I always rate a film on two scales: The technical aspects (an objective scale), and if I actually liked it (subjective scale). I'm pretty forgiving with science fiction films so I'll keep my review as objective as possible.

Pros: The futuristic world that has been imagined for this film was well designed. Visually, the film is stunning. If you're the type that reads into the quirky inventions you see on screen, this film is littered with them.

There were plenty of action sequences, and most of the time the film gave us eye candy that we haven't seen before. It seemed as though a general theme in the film (besides "questioning what's real") was constant play with gravity. This may have been influenced by inception, but the world turns upside down a few times, and it's visually interesting.

Cons: The plot. It was there, but not as deep as you would hope for a "Total Recall" remake. There were a few cool things thrown in there, but the plot was definitely not the strong point of the film.

The action sequences. There were a lot of positive aspects to all the action, but the movie seemed to rely too heavily on it. The movie came off as one giant chase scene, and it became slightly repetitive after a while. If you like a little meat on your plot's backbone, you may want to lower your expectations a little bit before seeing this one.

Conclusion: Try not to think of this film as a literal remake of the original. Think of it as analogous to a band doing a cover of someone else's song... in a very different style. It lifts the ideas from the original film, and written source material, but takes a different spin on it.

In all, I liked it. I had my quips, but it's a movie that I gave a lot of forgiveness. From what I recall, it wasn't a TOTAL mess.
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Total Rehash
dvc51593 August 2012
Fond memories of Paul Verhoeven's "Total Recall" kept coming back while watching this remake. Arnold Schwarzenegger's screen presence was also an added plus in the 1990 film, as well as the one-liners, Mars and of course heaps of bloody violence. If you've seen the original, then you know how it goes.

Len Wiseman's remake of the same name replaces Arnold with Colin Farrell, in his first lead action role in years, while eliminating Mars as the backdrop of the action and replacing it with an overpopulated Earth where transportation from one corner to another occurs, literally, straight through the center of the earth. The rugged subterranean mazes of the red planet is replaced with dizzying skyscrapers and lots of sleek, flying cars, not unlike Philip K. Dick's own "Blade Runner" and "Minority Report".

Farrell can act and is definitely a strong action lead and it shows here, as per the beautiful ladies Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel who both show off brawn over beauty here. Alas, everything is taken way too seriously in this version. I have fonder memories of the Verhoeven/Arnold version where one-liners come post-Arnie-kill. Gone. Certain characters are trimmed or even cut completely from the original. Bryan Cranston's Cohaagen makes me miss Ronny Cox even more, and Bill Nighy's resistance leader doesn't stand out compared to the 1990 film. The best thing the screenwriters did is to combine Sharon Stone's and Michael Ironside's characters from the 1990 film into one, and as portrayed by Kate Beckinsale, she kicks serious ass here.

The script is a near complete rehash of the original, save for the setting and the final act of the film. The scene where Bokeem Woodbine's character tries to convince Quaid (Farrell) where he's still in a dream is certainly a standout scene which was very well done. Alas, the majority of the movie is laced with action sequences and sensational special effects (seriously, this is CGI porn) that may get this film a nomination for Best Visual Effects this year. No kidding. While the editing is fast-paced and the cinematography sleek (with a little too much lens flare ala J. J. Abrams), the music score by Harry Gregson- Williams was kind of bland in my opinion. It was just there, does its job, and I didn't care. Where's Marco Beltrami; or even for that matter his legendary mentor, the late, great Jerry Goldsmith when you need them?

Director Wiseman has a knack for action sequences ("Underworld", "Die Hard 4") and it shows aplenty here. Sadly the script could've been a whole lot better, but then again, if they had set it on Mars it would've been a shot-for-shot remake with better characters, but still I would've loved to see action on the Red planet once again. The PG-13 rating is justified, and there are indeed little homages to the original, but overall this remake is nothing more than a fast-paced, popcorn munching good waste of time, with some really nice CGI to chew on.

However, I'd rather watch the old one again. Arnie has a much stronger screen presence than Farrell and it is much more ambitious and has more heart than this sleeker, newer one.

Overall rating: 53%
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Takes away the good from the original, turns into a dime-a-dozen action flick
jacobconant5 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The thing that made the old Total Recall so great was that it kept a certain level of fun going throughout the whole film. It threw Doug Quaid through several crazy challenges and turnarounds in the story. It was enjoyable to watch, and totally intrigued the viewer. It was campy. It was, all in all, a great movie.

This remake forgot the entire element of fun, and instead replaced it with what the producers probably thought people wanted to see: more explosions.

It's just, simply put, bleh.

It's not very fun to watch. It's actually pretty boring in the scenes where there isn't action, and the scenes where there is action, it begins to get old very quickly.

I don't ever feel like it's my place to critique another person's acting, but there are a few exceptions. Farrell just doesn't seem like a great Quaid. He kind of just takes everything that is thrown at him, and gets over it. Schwarzenegger was thrown into the action and was always surprised with what came next. He wasn't ever ready, and that showed. It made it more exciting! Farrell always kind of keeps that "yeah, I'm a secret agent? okay." attitude going the entire movie.

The last thing: You have almost no doubt that Quaid is actually a secret agent in this one. The old one actually had you thinking it was possible that he was still back at Rekall; whereas the remake spells it out in the beginning: He is a secret agent. That's it. End of story. The point of the old Total Recall was that you were never really sure. Is it all fake? Or is it real? The remake completely missed that intrigue, which was a big part of the old one.

It will entertain the people who like action, and nothing else. The substance just isn't there, which is a bit of a letdown. I give it a four, because it looked pretty.
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Total let down
phd_travel6 August 2012
This movie is one of those remakes which is not as good as the original 90s version. In other words it was pointless.

There is some continuing action that keeps one mildly engaged but the story is weak. The Arnie version had a clear and interesting plot with charm and wit remember "Sweetheart, be reasonable. After all, we're married!", "Consider this a divorce". Also the climax was grand and fascinating - the lack of oxygen bug eyed thing.

There are some vast multi level future cities that resemble an overcrowded Hong Kong or Shanghai. But the chase routines that race through them are repetitive after a while.

Kate Beckinsale's character kept popping back too many times and there is no reason why she is so relentless. Maybe just because her husband is the director. It was nice to see Jessica Biel in a big budget movie again. Colin Farrell plays a more regular guy than an action hero which is good but he doesn't have interesting lines to deliver.

Overall, see this if you want to but be warned it's not as good as the 90s version.
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Whoever Owns the Film Rights to Philip K. Dick's Stories Should Be Ashamed!
interestingfunstuff3 August 2012
The acting was mediocre. In one scene I even felt an actor was having difficulty with his lines and that's annoying! What's even more annoying is that the main "bad guy" is a depraved, Teflon-coated, wonder woman who can easily beat the stuffing out of our hero, despite the fact he also happens to be a professionally trained killer with muscles the size of bowling balls. Throughout the entire movie, this wonder woman just keeps coming back like a pesty stalker. Hardly getting a scratch until the very end. I was even waiting for her to start talking like Clint Eastwood! She also enjoyed explaining herself too much and I was really hoping she would get dispatched ASAP because her presence was undermining the entire story!

I have to admit I cared about the good guys! I wanted them to win, but unlike the first Total Recall, I didn't care nearly as much. In the original film I desperately wanted the good guys to win! In the remake my feelings were muted. After all the remake has been dumbed-down, which makes it dull. Sure there's plenty of CGI eye candy and plenty of Clone Trooper-type guys in body armor getting miraculously mowed down at every corner. But the story is not edgy in the least! Unlike the original Total Recall, where you really didn't know if the good guys were going to win.

And the remake has no message, unlike the original. The original was about mind-bogglingly oppressive corporate greed and as a result you felt a wide range of strong emotions! So much was at stake!

I don't like it when a great story is reduced to so many campy clichés! There was great tension building in the first half of the film only to fall apart later! It's so obvious Hollywood focus-grouped the screenplay to death in order to pander to the teen and pre-teen boy segment of the movie going public! Too bad Philip K. Dick will be spinning in his grave tonight. Whoever owns the film rights to his stories should be ashamed of themselves and PLEASE make no more movies if this is the best you can do! Try to protect the man's legacy, instead!
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A Nutshell Review: Total Recall
DICK STEEL2 August 2012
I guess the floodgates are now open. Adapting Philip K. Dick's stories are no longer enough, and now a trend may follow either to remake the films that have already been done, to give it another spin for a new generation, or how about remaking all of the films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, starting from Conan, and now Total Recall. For sure, Colin Farrell can't step into the ex-Mr Universe's hulking frame in playing the construction worker turned double agent Douglas Quaid through what would seem like a fantasy walk in the park for the mind gone all wrong, but if you'd put away your memory of the past film, then his outing here would stand out against his recent slate of projects, bringing him back to action-hero mould even if Len Wiseman's vision here turned a little bit suspect.

Fans of the original film will see only slight similarities in this one, since it took on a different adventure altogether after the familiar introduction. Quaid experiencing a nightmare of a dream only to wake up beside the sexy wife in Lori (Kate Beckinsale, in a role played by Sharon Stone previously, in lingerie no less), and finding that there's probably more to life than just home and work. Enticed by the fantasy inducing company called Rekall where one can live out one's fantasy for a fee, Douglas soon discovers he got more than he bargained for. The contraption's design got brought over, and so did the cult favourite in the three breasted woman, which Singapore back then didn't get to see at all because our censors found it offensive and unreal. The identity mask also has another go, although with less fun, being solely functional and little else.

But what was sorely missed in this remake, is the quip after quip of Arnie-isms, those puns made each time Douglas Quaid did something smart alecky, dispatched an opponent, or just wanted to drawl on something in his Austrian accent. In the typical Arnie movie, there's always room for fun, jokes, and those legendary one liners. Here, all we get are dead serious moments, with the whole look and feel being laden with the need to feel all gritty. Colin Farrell wears a scowl throughout, being perplexed and confused about his true identity in Jason Bourne style complete with mysterious artifacts stored in a safe deposit box, and having doubts to the role he has to play in the entire battle between the Haves and Have Nots.

This Total Recall requires that you junk all memories of the Schwarzenegger film, in order to enjoy the new narrative involving a chemical fallout across all lands save for Britain and parts of Europe now being part of a Greater Britain, and Australia, known as The Colony (yes, some slight historical references here). There's no Mars this time round, as the story gets set strictly on Earth, involving a carnival styled train service that commutes between the two territories, having to pass adjacent to the Earth's core, for some nifty CG effects involving gravitational force reversal.

CG seemed to be what Director Len Wiseman ordered for the film, with green screen effects and CG laden landscapes peppering the entire movie, that makes you wonder about the tagline "What is real?" indeed. It's big on action sequences and slight on actual story, with pauses only to allow the film to breathe a little, before embarking on yet another stunt sequence that involves plenty of running for Douglas Quaid, and his new found love interest / revolutionary partner Melina (Jessica Biel), as they escape from rooftops to elevators, pass through deadly three dimensional elevator shafts and tunnels, fighting their way past synthetic troopers ala Star Wars. It does get pretty generic after a while, that these sequences all start to look very much the same, and probably a Star Wars: Clone Wars episode gone wrong.

Also for the tagline of "What is real?", this remake doesn't really keep you in suspense in a what is, and what is not thought, because for this new generation of audiences, Len Wiseman probably considered it best if everything was spoonfed. So there's no need to guess, and everything got explained verbatim, that you'd know whether it's real, otherwise, and just about every plot and character twist being laid out for all and sundry. Between the two female leads, Kate Beckinsale got more screen time for obvious reasons, though it's not everyday that we get to see her in a negative role. It's clearly expanded here, with her Melina being something of an amalgam of the roles played by Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside as the relentless pursuer of Douglas Quaid, adamant in hunting him down and finishing him off, against orders.

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.
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I liked it. Not like the original, but that's why I liked it.
changx0231 October 2012
Too many reviews comparing it to the 1990 film with Arnie. If the Arnie version was never put out, then everyone would be saying how great this adaptation really is in it's own merit. (And seriously can you really say that you would have given the Arnie version a 10 if you saw it today, come on now).

The action sequences were great. The fighting choreography was good. In all honesty I think Kate Beckinsale is one of the better female action stars out there, I mean she can really kick ass. Well the CG was awesome. The interpretation of the future was well though out. I especially liked that there were cars hovering and not "flying" using a magnetic levitation system (very realistic look into the future of transportation).

The plot was decent, and this is where it loses 1 star. I thought it did a great job adapting Philip K. Dick's science fiction story into it's own. However, I thought that it followed too similar in plot sequence of the 1990 film. It would have been a 10 for me otherwise.

I wished that they could have really gone another way making it a complete mind f*** that would just blow our minds away. They could really had more fun with the memory thing.

Overall, great action film and worth seeing. Just don't compare it to the 1990 film.
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Total Re-gurgitation
mattphlaum4 August 2012
I wish I could recall the last two hours of my life. I really thought this movie would be fun - not good, mind you - but fun. A re-make of an old classic with an even bigger budget, better actors, and today's special effects would be worth 8 bucks. Plus Jessica Biel is sexy as hell. I was rewarded for my rare optimism by poor acting (seriously, the robots were more engaging); cliché dialogue (at one point, the villain actually said darkly, "Go handle it" to his henchman); and unpredictable plot-turns (the audience was kept guessing what the hell was going on). And these were all carefully scripted for the sole purpose of getting to the next action sequence - none of which had anything to do with the original movie. The only call-back to the original title was the appearance triple-titted hooker. No need to explain how the hell a regular human came to have these mammoth milk-monsters, because there are three of them. I should have walked out after they made their five-second cameo. I would have been happier.
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No Need to Recall
cattjones5 August 2012
I was completely exhausted after seeing this film. If you like chase scenes and a lot of action, then this is the film for you. I think that people who have seen the original Schwarzenegger version will not be too thrilled with this film, me included. In the original film there were more mind games while this film is diluted with action sequences. I am not saying that the action parts were not good, there was just too many of them. I have to say that the futuristic look of the United Federation of Britain and The Colony (Australia) was pretty cool; although there were times that I thought that I was watching a video game. Also, the concept that you could travel between the two locations (which are on opposite sides of the earth) in roughly 17 minutes in a tube called "The Fall" was utterly ridiculous. I can't even imagine how fast that thing would have to travel to do what it does. Colin Farrell (Douglas Quaid/Hauser) was not all that engaging. This is not necessarily his fault because the dialog was pretty bland and boring. By the end of the film I really did not care what happened to him, I just wanted it to be over. Kate Beckinsale (Lori Quaid) and Jessica Biel (Melina) were formidable as two butt-kicking adversaries, although I have to say that Kate's character kind of reminded me of the female terminator. She was relentless in trying to track down Hauser. I am always happy to see a woman cast as a tough, larger than life super human. Bokeem Woodbine (Harry) was convincing enough as the best friend, but his dialog was no better than Colin's. I do not think that the film was all bad, but about an hour or so into the film I was wishing that I was back at ReKall. You are definitely going to need an energy drink after you watch this one because you will not be energized after seeing it; you will be worn out. Len Wiseman was definitely not a wise man for trying to redo this film. He should stick with the Underworld series and call it a day. This film really makes me long for Mars and the cheesy special effects in the original. I am giving this film a very weak amber light only because the action scenes were so well done.
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This remake of Total Recall is a fine thriller in its own right
tavm7 August 2012
Okay, a few years ago I rewatched the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Paul Verhoeven version of Total Recall and gave it 10 stars. So I just now watched the Colin Farrell-Kate Beckinsale-Jessica Biel version and while I still prefer the previous version, this one wasn't so bad either. I mean, there are hardly any one-liners that Arnold did like that "divorce" line he gave to Sharon Stone then but there is still that dangerous edge that the original had that made this a worthy remake to watch. And the ending also provided a different twist than that of the original so that was also a good thing for me. So to make comparisons, I still prefer the Arnold version but this Total Recall gets a recommendation from me as well.
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totally entertaining!
mseligm11 August 2012
What can i say, i really enjoyed this movie. There are similarities to the original but the new twist was very entertaining. It is definitely a special effects lovers dream come true.

I don't really understand why some people gave this movie a bad review when clearly this is much better than most of the c*ap out there. I presume that most of the haters are either somehow against the movie to begin with or just don't acknowledge a good movie when they see one.

Overall i give it an 8 out of 10 and would recommend this movie to everyone. It was just as entertaining as the original albeit with new theme.
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Is EXACTLY what its mean to be - a THRILL RIDE
DJayXIII10 August 2012
Before seeing this movie, I read many reviews. Many of them were giving this film a poor rating, stating that it doesn't come close to the original, stating that it doesn't have this or that, etc. I decided to ignore the reviews and form my own opinion of the movie - which is what you should do as well...

First of all, in my opinion, this movie is not a remake - it seems more like a Reboot. Same concept, some of the same characters, story line has changed. Once you can accept this movie as a standalone and not compare it to the original - I believe you will be very pleased.

Special effects are wonderful, Story was fast paced and exciting, actors are some of the best in the industry, and to me - it was a Thrill Ride from beginning to end.

The only reason I give it an 8 instead of 10 is because I wish the movie had been just a little longer for character development and so that the movie didn't feel so rushed. Aside from that, I thought it was a great movie!

Watch it and form your own opinion!
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tiger86-224 August 2012
Well, reviewing this movie can be quite difficult... How am I supposed to evaluate it? As a stand-alone movie or as a remake? Because if you are not falling from, um, Mars you probably know this is a remake of one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies ever...

Hmm... Let's see. How about starting with its' critical acclamation? I guess you can easily see the movie's rating on Rotten Tomatoes. If not, I recommend seeing it if you want a good laugh. 30%. That is it. Needless to say, any sane person would be shocked. Not because the movie is too good for that rating. You don't need to like the movie... You don't even need to have seen it to know something is very, very wrong here... I mean, 'Die Hard 4.0' has 81%... How the hell can the next movie created by the same writer/director have almost three times lower rating? I know, writers/directors don't always make movies of equal quality but the quality NEVER fluctuates that much. A little research about RT helped me realize a few things.

First, critics tend to give sequels of beloved franchises high ratings - of all movies of that kind that I checked only one - 'Die Hard 3' - had less than 65%. Everything else - even the abysmal 'Attack of the Clones' - was rated as "Fresh".

Second, critics tend to have a certain bias against sci-fi, fantasy and horror if they are not directed by a supposedly great name like Ridley Scott or Nolan. 'Willow' - a fantasy genre icon - has 49%. Go figure.

Third, Rotten Tomatoes is not even a good representative of critics' opinion... I mean, does anybody believe the critics considered the last Indiana Jones movie better than 'Forrest Gump'? Check their awards and you will see. And yet.. Go and see. So much for RT being a good source...


I wasted your time with this but it just had to be told. Now, about the movie itself. Well, it IS good. It has its' shortcomings, mainly in the writing department, but it stands on its' own.

As a stand alone movie... Well, after 'Prometheus' disappointed everyone, TR2012 is probably the best sci-fi movie of the year. It has a great story, great chemistry between the actors and the writing is at least acceptable although sometimes flawed. The acting was good from all actors. The only slight disappointment comes from Bill Nighy - he delivered a fine performance but he looked like he spent no more than an hour on the movie set. However his character, although important, has no more than 10 minutes of screen time so... Action-wise this movie is EXACTLY what 'Die Hard 4.0' was - relatively bloodless, wonderfully captured and complicatedly choreographed. Smooth camera movement, NO shaky cam, extremely long cuts - look at the first fight in the trailer and you will get it. And, believe me, the action looks better than that on the big screen. What is also worth mentioning is the fact that the movie feels more real than most sci-fi blockbusters recently, mostly because the use of CGI and green screens is as minimal as possible. I don't know why so many people think it is loaded with CGI. It isn't, trust me.

Overall, as a stand alone movie the new 'Total Recall' works, and it works well.

As a remake... Well, it did keep the basic story but that is it. Verhoeven's humor is gone. The blood is gone. The gore is gone. Mars is gone. Mutants are gone. Richter is gone. Arnold and his one-liners are gone. Although the story is basically the same, the new movie is completely different from the original. There are a few nods to the 1990 movie but that is it. This is a new movie.

If you want to see the old one, see it. It is great. If you haven't seen it you will love it. If you already have seen it... you will love it again.

The new movie is different. If you see it with an open mind you will probably like it at least a bit. Give it a chance. It is a good movie and a great entertainment.
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Horrible - All special effects, poor plot development
gsmith5138 August 2012
I don't typically review many movies, but I felt compelled to warn people about this film. My husband, 14 year-old son and I have very different movie preferences but we were all looking forward to seeing this film. None of us liked it. The worst part about it was that there was sooo much going on in virtually every scene that it actually became irritating to watch. Too many special effects can detract from a film and this movie was crammed with so much "action" that it was just complete overkill. Granted, it has been quite a while since I saw the original, but I remember there being at least some amusing parts and I felt some connection to the main character- not so with the re-make. I could also follow the plot and thought it was better developed in the previous version.

Before the halfway-point I found myself checking my watch every 10 minutes or so, and my husband and I both admitted afterwards that we dozed off a couple times (in self-defense I think) - something I NEVER do when I go to a movie theater. This was the closest that I have ever come to walking out midway through a movie. The only reason we stayed until the end was that we invested $25 for the tickets and felt stubbornly compelled to stick it out. I hope that others who decide to see the film have a better experience than I did, but I honestly wouldn't even recommend renting it when it is released to DVD.
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Garbage on film!
sportingbiz4 August 2012
Total Recall - What a waste of money and talent! Unfortunately, none of these 2 aspects are a part of this film.

You have high paid actors, 2 female A listers, a highly gross budget, and a lot of money spent for nothing! I am not sure what the purpose of remaking this film was for. The Swarzenneger original was a clever and entertaining film for it's time. If the original was bad, then I would understand why some studio would have an interest in remaking it. Building the creativity of the story.

However, the original did it's part and for what market or audience it was originally intended for, the original did the trick and this is just a sloppy makeover. A film of this kind has but one purpose - to hopefully, ride the coat-tails of the original (without really adding anything clever) in order to try and build up the bank bucks on another unnecessary sequel. Shame on you!
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Brilliant action film with major plot holes
GrimNirTheGreyGod17 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film is an action fans wet dream. It steams from action scene to action scene with a small pause for dialogue and plot. There's many will say this is a bad thing but not me. I hate long drawn out rhetoric in an action film. So if you like action in your action films you will love this.

If your looking for an up dated version of Arnie's Total Recall then you will be disappointed, but then what would be the point of seeing the exact same film again just with new characters? It needed to pay homage, but also be a little bit unique and new. This managers that with ease.

There's no Mars in this one. Its set in a future where much of the world is uninhabitable and there's really just the United Kingdom and Australia (The colony's) left. Travel between the two just takes 17 minutes by falling through a hole that travels through the centre of the earth. Which features as a major plot point.

The acting's OK by Farrell and Beil and they both give a good strong action performance, however the true star is Kate Beckinsale's role as his fake wife then ardent nemesis. Kate show's she's best in the full on action roles and is totally believable as a hard as nails kick ass ruthless pursuer. She's absolutely brilliant in every scene she's in. From the ambiguous but memorable line "I give good wife", to her die hard relentless attempts to kill Farrell she is definitely the true star of this movie. I definitely want to see her in more action movies.

From the point of keeping you thrilled, this film scores 10 out of ten, from an acting view point I give Beckinsale 10/10 and the others 8/10. The CGI is definitely 10/10 even if the first scenes are so very reminiscent of blade runner. The action, stunts and fight scenes are well above a 10/10 rating. In short this would be a perfect film if not for some silly plot holes.

Now here's where the plot gets a bit silly. Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) lives in the UK travels by "the fall" to work in the colonies, where he's building synthetic soldiers that will be transported back to the UK to eventually use to invade the colonies, via the fall. There are terrorists who feel the fall generates second class citizens but no explanation why. UK owns the colonies, who are trying for independence, but are still owned by the UK, so why does the UK need to invade it? Quaid as Hauser has supposedly seen a kill code for the synthetic soldiers, if so why when he was first turned didn't he give it too the resistance. In this version he wasn't a pretend double agent he genuinely changed sides so why didn't he give it then? And as everyone seems to have recall technology why can only the leader of the resistance Matthias (Bill Nighy) get at it? Why endanger him? If anything Matthais roles seems to have been forced into the script from the original, but doesn't actually fit in this versions plot or premise. The the final annoying glaringly obvious plot hole. When the UK invades the colonies they load all their troops into the fall device and fall through the earth. The colonies know the invasion is coming through the fall we see news casts and alerts to the citizens warning them of the imminent invasion. So if they know its coming via the fall why not simply drop a bomb down the hole? Instantly kill the complete army and even block the only means of invasion ensuring their safety? Its so obvious its ridiculous.

Its this plot failure that makes me mark the overall film down to just 7/10. But if you don't care about that and just want an all action fun movie then this is definitely a must see film.
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The critics where being to harsh
DarkVulcan298 August 2012
Agreed it is flawed , but it's nowhere near the disaster of a film thats it's made out to be.

In the far, far, future. Doug Quaid(Colin Farrell) a factory worker, and is happily married to Lori(Kate Beckinsale), but feels his life has more to it then it should be, goes to a place called Rekall, a place that can make fantasizes as real has possible. But when they hook him up to the machine, he suddenly being called a spy, and troops come in, and Quaid takes them out(Jason Bourne style), he goes on the run, and goes home in hopes that Lori will help, but she quickly tries to kill, only to discover that the life he thought was his, is not. He catches up to Melina(Jessica Biel), someone who helps him, and she might be from his past? Will they uncover the truth before it's late?

The futuristic setting is awesome. Colin Farrell is good, so is Bryan Cranston has the main villain. Kate Beckinsale steals the show as the evil Lori. Now Jessica Biel is so bland as Melina, there is nothing to her character, she is just there, nothing more. Action scenes, and effects don't disappoint. It's not as humorous like the original, but still an enjoyable popcorn action flick.
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Total Waste of My Time
jimc-441-4379295 August 2012
I think the other reviewers here were too kind. The movie is unforgivably terrible. No storyline, no dialogue to speak of other than almost-verbatim regurgitations from the original film, poorly acted, and utterly boring. I couldn't wait for the drawn-out affair to end.

The CGI elevators and car chase scenes were quite fantastic but with no story to back-up such graphics and artificial set, there was little point other than to wonder during the film why all the money went into the visuals and marketing and not into plot development or storyline. If just some budget had gone to the story the film could have been wonderful.

For those who never saw the original, I don't know how you will ever figure out what this movie is trying to say or accomplish other than to take some hard-earned money out of your wallet.

This film in now on my Top Ten Worst Films of All Time list.
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Rekall here i come
snowman2k29 August 2012
It's truly awful and you will need a trip to Rekall after watching it to wipe this horribly dull film from your mind after you have seen it.

Arnie's version is now a classic this is rubbish and Philip K. Dick will be spinning in his grave.

There were some good moments up until the end of the car chase scene, but after that this is a floater with one stupid, brain-numbing scene after another.

Without putting spoilers in this review lets just say in the future the world is populated by too many stupid people and robot cops that can't shoot to save themselves.

Also no Johnny cabs :(
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Remake shows all the pros and cons of modern film making trends
xamtaro8 August 2012
What makes up who we are? Are we the result of our past experiences and memories or does our identity stem from something much deeper? These are questions that the 2012 remake of the classic action film "Total Recall" could have delved into. What we have instead is a showcase of the best and worst of modern science fiction film making. It is Definitely a product of 2012 as much as the original was a product of the early 90s.

The aforementioned themes are only teased but never developed in this intense tale of on man's quest to uncover the truth of his identity and past. In a vastly overcrowded, class segregated future, everyman Douglas Quaid is haunted by dreams of being a secret agent on the run. Convinced that these are repressed fantasies brought on by his monotonous life assembling security automatons (which are like Cyber Stormtroopers) Quaid visits this place called "Rekall"; Rekall claims to implant fake but realistic fantasies into one's mind. So he gets a fantasy of being a double agent implanted. Suddenly, its discovered that he already has memories of being an agent: meaning he actually is an agent with his memory erased. A swat team busts in for some reason and he dispatches them to some beautiful camera camera pans. What follows is "Kurt Wimmer's 'Salt: dystopian future edition - minus Angelina Jolie" (surprise surprise, this movie is also written by Wimmer) with Quaid's wife turning out to be a psychopathic killer, his past a complete sham and his grip on that fine line between reality and fantasy slowly slipping. In the background lies a dastardly plot by a rich chancellor involving the poor dissidents of the overcrowded Colony and the leader of an underground resistance.

The most striking feature of Total Recall would be the stunning vision of this overcrowded future. Floating buildings to make up for scarce land, a country confused by its melting pot of cultures, cyborg police, hover cars, it is amazing. This is a future that seems very real judging from our current world: Strict class segregation taken to the extreme. The dichotomy in the design between the rich and elite United Federation of Britain and The ramshackle Colony is beautifully rendered thanks to the amazing production design headed by Patrick Tatopoulos (the guy who worked on Independence Day, Starship Troopers and Dark city).

A pity that the rest of the movie is fairly typical of modern day chase thrillers. Compared to the original Total Recall film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, this remake has Less twists, a less ambiguous ending and lacks the cynical dark humor that made the original so memorable. Instead of keeping it ambiguous as to whether the events unfolding are real or part of Quaid's implanted fantasy, this remake spoils its own mystery for the audience.

Director Len Wiseman brings in all that is good and bad in modern day film making into this movie. He shoots Total Recall with an over reliance on shaky cam and lens flare, almost like a "Paul Greengrass meets J.J Abrams". Think Bourne Supremacy with the visual style of the 2009 Star Trek film. The future is epilepsy inducing, we get it; and sometimes this really distracts from the tip top designs.

The cast is basically a reunion of mist actors that were in Len Wiseman's Underworld franchise. They do an excellent job with the acting and chemistry but the good actors like Bill Nighly felt under utilised. Only Kate Beckinsale was able to truly shine playing Quaid's wife-turned-assassin. Quaid himself is played by Colin Ferrel and is perhaps the only improvement this remake boasts over the original. Schwarzenegger's Quaid was the quintessential action hero but Ferrel's portrayal of the character had a greater sense of peril: he looks nothing like an action hero and this makes his transformation from everyman to savior of the downtrodden all the more powerful.

Whether one finds this a good movie or not depends on whether one can accept the modern trends of science fiction film making. It is the same plot as the original with all the "1990s" elements taken out and replaced with "2012" elements. Art Aficionados will be impressed by the overall look, style and camera-work showcased here. Those looking for a deep meaningful dive into the nature of human identity or even those looking for clever twists or smart dialogue will be let down. Take away the visuals and it's a rather generic, straight forward modern chase thriller.
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Nothing new in this high-octane sci-fi flick, but Beckinsale rocks
jefflouvre-435-773672 August 2012
I HAD high hopes for this flick as I really enjoyed the 1990 original on DVD. You can read my review of the original flick, which I had written last month.

Where did it all go wrong? Quaid (Farrell, whom I last saw in a sex tape) just runs and runs and surmounts every obstacle thrown in his way.

However, the action is nothing new and viewers would have seen all the running, explosions, bullets ricocheting and close-combat fights in other flicks.

The flick does pause for a brief moment to ruminate on Quaid's desire to find out about his past, while the rebel leader tells him that the heart wants to live in the present. What new age mumbo jumbo is this?

Another problem with the flick is the casting of Farrell. In the original, Arnie looked really confused by what was happening around him and viewers would have empathized with his predicament.

Farrell, on the other hand, just seems to be going through the motion.

The movie's atmosphere is also nothing new. The teeming crowds amid the rain come from 'Blade Runner' and 'Fifth Element'. The car-chase scene comes from 'Minority Report' and 'Fifth Element'.

The idea about robot cops getting ready for an invasion comes from 'I, Robot', and the look of the robots also comes this flick.

The one good thing about this flick is Kate Beckinsale, the director's wife, who plays Quaid's wife. She's not one person viewers will want to mess with in a dark alley. She exudes arrogance and strength, and a certain amount of sexiness and sultriness.
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A Len Wiseman Special
JoeStok1328 February 2013
I wasn't expecting much from this movie at the start. I had not watched the original movie (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) so I didn't really know what the story was. I was expecting an overdose of action and a confusing plot.

I was pleasantly surprised by Colin Farrel's acting. I feel he has really improved as an actor and I thought the chemistry between him and co-stars Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel was great. The action sequences were fun to watch and exciting. Fast paced action sequences kept me refreshed and the stunning Kate Beckinsale, who you may know from 'Underworld' and 'Van Helsing', nailed the antagonist role.

The director, Len Wiseman, who previously surprised by making 'Live Free or Die Hard' a fantastic action film, has once again done his job well. The storyline was clear and made sense, which was more than what I had expected. I admit that it could have been better, because the climax was kind of dull compared to the rest of the movie, but definitely worth the watch.
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dg1358 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The story: the government of Britain is going to wage war and wreak havoc on one of its colonies until the heroic American saves the day! Seriously, it's that stupid.

The fact that this terrible movie shares the same name as the mysterious and intriguing Schwarzenegger/Stone film of 1990 is an absolute insult. There is no suspense, mystery, or intrigue in this version of Total Recall. Both the central character and certainly the audience pretty well know the real situation from the beginning. So, rather than sharing in the doubts of the central character who, in the 1990 original, isn't sure what is real and what isn't, we instead simply get formulaic action mixed with a bit of romance. So, don't forget your barf bag if you dare see this abysmal stink-bomb. This movie is an insult to everyone's intelligence.
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Terribly Boring
Scorpionhl4 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Comparing this film to the original Total Recall would be like saying the phantom menace was the best star wars movie ever. This film simply bored me to tears, and I like action movies. Even removing the back history of the original, I can't believe they let this one reach the theaters with its thin plot line and unoriginal action sequences.

First off, the idea in this film is not to present you with any kind of real story line (at least nothing original), or provide any semblance of a movie experience. It's just 120 minutes of Colin running away from the bad guys with no break for a plot. Plot holes, while numerous, were filled in with other plot holes and a good story was filled in with iRobot meets Blade Runner graphics.

Now, sometimes a bad movie can at least save its face with some 'appeal' with its stars, but they couldn't even give us that from Kate or Jessica. If you want me to pay for a 120 minute chase scene, next time tell us up front and don't hide behind a legendary name.
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