REVIEW: Total Recall 2012

It was with a certain amount of reservations that we went to see Total Recall. It’s a remake of the 1990 film starring Arnie. The new one stars Colin Farrell – always good to see on the screen for us ladies!!!

The film is set in a future where most of the earth has been poisoned and the only two habitable places are the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the Colony (Australia). The two places are connected via a tunnel through the earth that houses a lift called the Fall.

The film, directed by Len Wiseman, follows the same storyline as the original film based on the book by Philip K Dick. Doug Quaid appears to be an ordinary bloke doing a dead-end job and married to Lori. He considers going to Rekall to get some false memories and decides on ‘Secret Agent’. This is where it all goes wrong for Doug, his memory has already been adjusted and all hell breaks loose at Rekall and again when he gets home and tells Lori. Lori is working for Cohagen and is only with Doug to make sure he doesn’t remember his past experiences with Cohagen who effectively runs everything.

The 2 cities are excellently rendered for the screen. UFB has remnants of London with cube like blocks on top and connected high in the sky, all interlaced with highways. The colony is a flavela like construct with lots of neon and it’s always raining!!!

What I liked:

  • Colin Farrell as the main character. The film-makers/script writers didn’t try to make him into an Arnie wanna be. The role is played more seriously and it was all the better for that. Plus it’s Colin Farrell..he’s just lovely to look at!!
  • The pace of the film – it rattles along with good set pieces of action.
  • The feel of the film – you’re never quite sure what it real in Doug’s world and what is faked by Rekall.

What I disliked:

  • Why does it always seem to rain in these types of ‘post apocalyptic’ type films?
  • Kate Beckinsale speaks in a very strange ‘British’ accent. It’s not  like anything you hear in Britain! Perhaps it’s how the Americans think a Brit should speak.
  • It’s set in the future but at one point you see a few Fiat 500s driving about?? EH???
  • The ABSOLUTE worst thing for me was the lens flare that seemed to permeate almost every scene. It’s very off-putting and whoever thought it was a good idea should be hounded out of the film making industry!!

I thought this film was really good. Forget the Arnie film and just watch this as it is.
I actually watched Arnie’s Total Recall on the TV yesterday evening and it really isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. DON’T compare the films. They really are too different to compare.

I’m giving it 4/5
I think most of the ‘official’ reviews have got it wrong. They are comparing the film to the Arnie’s 1990 version instead of just watching the film.  They are paying far too much attention to the ‘humour’ in the original. The new one is not a humourous film and it never said it was going to be. So ignore the official reviews and just get entertained!

You can see a trailer and more pictures at the official Total Recall site.

Stills courtesy of


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