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Total Recall




Released: 29th August 2012

Directed By: Len Wiseman

Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel

Certificate: 12A

Reviewed By: Ben Harris

Comparisons cannot be made having not seen Schwarzenegger’s original, but knowing the 1990 version was approached in a tongue-in-cheek manner, it can be said that this ‘Total Recall’ update lacks the fun that supposedly embraced the original.

After a chemical warfare destroyed a vast amount of the planet, Earth is divided into two territories – UFB (United Federation of Britain) and the Colony. Bored with life as an UFB factory worker, Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) visits Rekall, a company that provides artificial memories for its clients. However, when his implantation doesn’t go according to plan Quaid discovers he’s an actual spy. With his wife, Lori (Kate Beckinsale), suddenly trying to kill him and a swarm of robotic forces trying to invade the Colony, Quaid goes on the run to find out who he is and why he doesn’t have a recollection of his past.

Len Wiseman (Underworld, Die Hard 4.0) is at the helm and whilst a few set pieces are well handled, they quickly tire and don’t generate a huge amount of excitement. Although the effects are mildly impressive, each frame is bombarded with CGI; it’s a bold setting but it’s not enough to support a weak script.

The world is threatened yet the story never reaches a level of satisfactory intensity. The action is strung together by poor dialogue and unconvincing character development. Quaid has no urgency in digging deeper into his life and a half-baked romance between him and Melina (Jessica Biel) is a dull add-on. The interaction, for the majority of the time, is Beckinsale bad-mouthing Farrell with lousy husband and wife insults; it’s a failed attempt to introduce comical aspects to the proceedings.

It’s a shame, mostly because ‘Total Recall’ has a decent cast. Farrell’s reincarnation of Quaid isn’t interesting enough however his physicality showcases him as a dependable action hero. Kate Beckinsale is back kicking arse (unfortunately not in leather) and is a fun addition to the cast but Farrell’s other female counterpart, Jessica Biel, doesn’t have much of a presence.

‘Total Recall’ takes itself too seriously, the fun is nonexistent and the action sequences repetitive, another one to throw on the forgettable pile.

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