Monday, August 6, 2012

"Total Recall (2012)" Review

     Some movies just shouldn't be remade. This is Total Recall!

    I love the original Total Recall. It had a great story, great action and is easily one of my all-time favorite action movies. It succeeded because it knew it was a silly movie. It had a great sense of humor which allowed for even more fun to be had in the film. It was also backed up with a great performance from Schwarzenegger and a great supporting cast. The remake isn't as good.
    The remake follows Colin Ferrell in the Schwarzenegger role of Douglas Quaid, a man with a simple life working for the United Federation of Britain making robotic police officers. He lives in The Colony, where the lower-class live. This split is caused after world war makes everywhere on Earth, except for Britain and Australia, uninhabitable. Quaid is bored with his life, so he travels to Rekall, which gives people fake memories, in order to spice it up. There, he finds out his life is a lie and that he's really a spy for The Resistance. His wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsdale) is out to kill him and he team up with a mysterious woman from his past Melina (Jessica Biel) in order to find out what's going on. Together, they learn that UFB politician Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) is planning on destroying The Colony because... because why not!

Something's not quite right here...
    The problem with this remake is that, despite being surprisingly close to the original story-wise, it drops two of the original films most memorable parts: it's mystery and it's humor. In this film, the is never any real question of if this is "Real or Rekall". This is all really happening and the movie never is as much of a mind-trip as the original is. Don't get me wrong. This movie is confusing. But, unlike the original, it's not because it's such a smart story, it's because I suspect that even the writer didn't know what was happening.
    Plus, the film is so mind-numbingly serious. I can safely say this is one of the most boring films I've seen in a long time. I have never been so close to falling asleep in a movie as I have with this one. Which is too bad because the film is undeniably well-made. The effects look great and there are some really creative action scenes, but it's all lost in a sea of been-there-done-that.
    The actors try there best, but they don't have much to work with. The story is messy and there is a lot that goes unexplored or unexplained. This film feels a lot like a collection of cool ideas that are trying to emulate a great Arnold Schwarzenegger film and isn't succeeding. I mean, when a film that has robots, giant elevators that go through the Earth, zero gravity fight scenes and flying cars is boring, something has gone terribly wrong.

That's better.
    Maybe it's not fair to judge a remake based on the original, but Total Recall tries so hard to be like the original, that the fact that it so horribly misses the point of the original is so sad. A lot of care was put into this movie and the end product is just kinda there. It won't change how you feel about the original or anything. This is a movie that exists to fill space and it's a shame, because you can see a good movie underneath all of the bad. And that film was released back in 1990 and start Arnold Schwarzenegger. Check it out. I'd say the remake is not terrible, but not really worth checking out. Total Recall (2012) gets 3 stars out of 6.


  1. The cast and action make this predictable story a whole lot more enjoyable, but it’s still the same, old formula as the original. Except this time, it’s without all of the hilarious Arnie one-liners. Nice review Alex.

  2. Total Recall 1990 RULES! Please no more remakes of Arnold movies!