Marcus Reviews Total Recall

4 Aug


Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen.

What I Liked:

Total Recall’s biggest strength by far lies in it’s gorgeous and at times completely arresting visuals. Even though none of the ideas presented in the world are particularly original (the world basically looks like what would happen I, Robot, Blade Runner & The Fifth Element had a threesome and some how a baby came out of it) it meshes those ideas together nicely and really serves as a great backdrop to make the movie feel like pure sci-fi (which is something that we haven’t seen in a while).

While for the most part they’re pretty by the numbers, there are some action sequences in this movie that are truly awesome (probably the best one involving zero gravity).

While they’re not exactly given a whole lot to work with in the way of character development the actors in the movie still put forth good efforts, most notably Kate Beckinsale & Colin Farrell. Farrell serves as a solid lead who not only handles the physicality of the role well but also made me care enough about Quaid to actually want to see him find the answers to his questions. Beckinsale was the best character in the movie by far though since she was essentially the goddamn Terminator. After she revealed her true colors, every time she showed up on the screen you knew that shit was about to hit the fan and I loved it. She also has probably the best lines in the movie, “I give good wife” is just brilliant lol.

The concept of “The Fall” is really awesome and some of the coolest moments in the movie involved it in some way.

Putting the chick with three boobs in as a nice little throwback to the original.

What I Didn’t Like:

Now while I haven’t seen the original Total Recall in a long time, I already know that it had way more depth than the remake in terms of story, which is the ultimate downfall of this movie. There’s supposed to be this big sociopolitical plot line going on but it all just seems silly because not enough time is spent on it. A lot seems to be happening just to happen and even after the big “twist”, there’s not enough pathos behind the motives to really make everything that happens afterward seem like it’s as big of a deal as they make it out to be.

Unfortunately the characters are as underdeveloped as the story is which really doesn’t help things. Aside from Quaid (who really isn’t that developed himself), all of the other characters in this movie are really given one real character trait and you’re just supposed to assume that they’re important. The biggest offender of this is Matthias, the head of the underground resistance, who is in the movie all of about 10 minutes and the only thing we really get out of him is some fortune cookie line about starting anew and how the past isn’t important. Most of the characters were so underdeveloped & unmemorable in fact that I forget pretty much all of their names by the time the movie was finished.

For a movie called Total Recall, the Recall concept sure doesn’t seem to be that important here. It’s really only touched on in the beginning of the movie and if the movie had a different name I wouldn’t be surprised if you forget that it was in the movie to begin with.

Even JJ Abrams would be annoyed by the amount of needless lens flare in this movie


The Total Recall remake is a pure popcorn movie that aspires to be more but can’t because the plot took a backseat to the action. The movie presents you with a lot of really cool ideas that really could’ve made this into a great sci-fi film, but due to how underdeveloped said ideas are, the movie never reaches its full potential. Luckily I went into the movie with zero expectations and so I was able to look past that and enjoy it as a by the numbers sci-fi blockbuster. I’d recommend checking it out if you’ve already seen The Dark Knight Rises and are looking for something else to quench your action movie thirst. There are worst things that you could drop 10 dollars on.

Rating: C


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