I have to tell you a secret. Well, not exactly a secret more of a well-known fact: The original Total Recall from the nineties is one of my favorite movies. The combination of brutal action, futuristic concepts, humor, and great leads led to a fucking masterpiece. Not to mention the fact that the story is taking place on Mars, The Red Planet. So, it’s suffice to say that I had great expectations for this remake. Total Recall, 2012 edition, is a soulless remake offering great special effects, a good cast, and a mildly thought-provoking story. First of all, the story is taking place on Earth instead of Mars.
That right there is a big obstacle for any fan of the original movie or science fiction in general. However, we must remember that in the original Philip K. Dick’s short story, upon which both movies are based, no one goes to Mars. It was Dan O’Bannon’s (Alien, Return of the Living Dead) stroke of genius to place a large section of the story on Mars. Secondly, the inner logic of the movie is all fucked up. People of the future do not think just act like wild animals. Luckily, Douglas Quaid is there to save the day. Why didn’t the citizens of the “slave country” thought of blowing up the elevator is beyond me.
This reminds me that this new Total Recall remake does feature some interesting concepts. Apart from the bleak post-apocalyptic world, we also have some pretty cool gadgets. And the cast was just sublime. Colin Farrell gave us a very different Douglas Quaid while Bryan Cranston was also excellent as Cohaagen. We also have Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, and Bill Nighy. Too bad the script was rather pedestrian, never taking full advantage of this potent environment. After the release of Blomkamp’s Elysium, I had to come back and update this review as the two movies are quite similar. Even the robots act and look the same.
Welcome to the world of tomorrow! It’s a shitty world thanks to the chemical war that left the planet almost uninhabitable. There are only two continents now and two factions of humanity, Slaves, and Masters. They’re connected by a giant elevator, The Fall, that goes through the Earth’s core. In this horrific environment, we meet Douglas Quaid, an ordinary factory worker who’s about to find out that he’s actually something entirely else…
The set design in Total Recall, 2012 edition, was simply mind-blowing. Every location looked realistic and believable, which is really important for a science fiction movie. This is one of the main reasons why I think you should see the movie. Total Recall 2012 is worth watching because it provides the viewer with a distinctly satisfying science fiction and post-apocalyptic escapism experience. And if you stay on the surface, never really questioning any of the concepts you’re going to see, it can be a pleasant experience overall. There’s a lot of action and breath-taking scenes in a futuristic environment complete with chases in strange cars.
Just think of it as a Blade Runner clone with a lot more action. Wow, did they just manage to desecrate two of the science fiction classics? No, they did not because we’re going to see the lady with the three tits after all. It’s more similar to early 2000s action science fiction movies like I, Robot. So, if you want to see something shiny and mildly entertaining do check out the new Total Recall remake they should’ve just titled The Fall. Finally, if you’re wondering why Kate Beckinsale gets all the cool scenes it’s because her husband, Len Wiseman, is the director. You might remember him as the guy behind the Underworld franchise. Oh wait, didn’t those movies also star…?
Director: Len Wiseman
Writers: Kurt Wimmer, Mark Bomback, Ronald Shusett
Cast: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy
Fun Facts: Michael Ironside was offered a cameo role but he refused it.