Not having seen the original 1990 “”Total Recall” movie I have nothing to compare it and am left wondering if as much glass was shattered in the first as there is in this 2012 remake? As in most sci-fi pictures what is fact and what is fiction seems to be left to the writer and I usually get lost almost half way through but here, due to the designer of the production, Patrick Tatopoulos, the screen holds your interest of what tomorrow may look like. Whether it be the United Federation of Britain or the Colony of Australia you know we will be living in a vertical world and transportation will consist of huge, round elevators that pass through the core of the earth in 15 minutes where you must be strapped down or you will defy gravity. Disappointing to me was that you still have to shave both hands of the steering wheel!
The hero, Quaid, or is it Hauser?, played by Colin Farrell, lives in the past, the present and, sometimes, in the future and both he and the audience are never sure when he is where. In whatever time zone he is in he has a beautiful and fierce fighting woman by his side, the present represented by Kate Beckinsale and the past by Jessica Biel or is the latter also in the present? Cohaagen, Bryan Cranston, is the Chancellor of the UFB looking to put down a revolution led by Matthiias, Bill Nighy and because of the two women he is forced between the two men.
With special effects in the forefront of so many movies these days “Total Recall” heads the class with the army of robots, a city rising up on many levels, flying car chases not to forget fights that go where very few pictures have gone. Along with these fights, as mentioned before, this picture must hold the record of smashed glass, usually by human bodies. With the latter if people watching this film held a drinking game where they downed a shot each time Colin Farrell was thrown, or jumped, 10 to 20 plus flights of various buildings, and elevator shafts, without breaking an ankle, let alone a foot or other body parts, the audience would be drunk very fast. Another way the drinking game can go is downing one each time the word feces, in its slang version, is used, they may hold a drinking record as I don’t think. it has every been used so much in any other film!
The actors do a good job though it seems as if Kate Beckinsale couldn’t make up her mind between a British, American or Australian accent and when the women fight it is hard at times to tell who is who which easily could have been solved by the hair and makeup department. It’s hard to see Arnold Schwarzenegger playing the role of Quaid though I think he would demand more attention.
The film was directed by Len Wiseman, written by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback, all who do their best to make an entertaining film, but Patrick Tatopoulos is the ‘star’ of “Total Recall”. Due to his work this is a film that has to be seen on a movie screen!
By the way, though I am anti cellphone, I want to be the first to sign up for the ‘palm’ phone!