Total Recall

Viewed – 01 January 2013 online rental

I’m certainly a fan of the nineties Arnold Schwarzenegger original but unlike many remakes in recent years, I didn’t bulk at the prospect of this.  Colin Farrell plays Doug Quaide, yearning for something else in his blue-collar life working in a futuristic metropolis plagued by terrorist attacks and overseen by an oppressive government.  One day he stumbles upon shady organization ‘rekall’ with the promise of giving him the adventurous memories he craves – yet soon he is thrown into a life he never knew he was a part of, where he may not be who he thought he was.


Farrell is gradually becoming one of my favorite actors, and takes to this energetic and intriguing movie with aplomb.  Supported well by a double dose of babe in the lovely shape of Kate Beckinsale & Jessica Biel, and with impressive set design, beautiful CGI and slick action (including a great freeway hover-car chase) – this further developing the Philip K Dick short story whilst adding plenty of ideas of its own. Mars this time is absent, replaced by a future where people travel from one side of the world to the other via a huge elevator shaft drilled through the earths core (!).

That being said, some plot details do get confusing, major characters are under developed and it lacks the one-liners and sleazy excess Paul Verheoven brought to the original (the presence of the three breasted woman making little sense). However, director Len Wisemen (Die Hard 4.0) further cements his place as one of the better action guys around … meaning this still packed a punch.

Verdict: 3.5 /5


Viewed – 20 June 2009  DVD

Well this is a simple set up.  A young married couple become stranded in an isolated hotel room and discover that hidden cameras are filming their every move.  They soon come to realise that unless they escape they will become the next victims of a snuff film.  This cliched plot is rescued (slightly) by the presence of Kate Beckinsale and Luke Wilson, offering at least some decent acting in amidst the no-brain script.  The creepy murderers hell bent on keeping Kate and Luke captive, are one-note scum bags with the exception of Frank Whaley, who you may remember as the nervous kid who John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson execute in the hotel room in Pulp Fiction … and is boo-hiss evil here.

Sadly though this is glossy, hollywood thrills with very little personality, some gripping, nail-biting moments but not much else.  The footage of the snuff films that Kate & Luke discover are quite disturbing, but not as powerfully done as perhaps 8mm or especially that scene in Henry Portrait Of A Killer.  So to close, watch this if you like the actors and the premise, but don’t expect to be telling your friends about it the following day.  Perhaps I should have realised when the director’s first name is ‘Nimrod’. 

Verdict:  2 /5