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Reviews & Ratings for
Total Recall More at IMDbPro »

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"Don't EVER touch the originals"

Author: Romeo Garcia from Monterrey, Mexico
14 September 2014

They are only a few remakes that a better than the original (Ocean's 11,scarface,the departed,true grit)and of course this movie is NOT one of them.

The 1990 Paul Verhoeven movie is a sci-fi classic and one of the best movies of the 90's.Even Arnold has says that the movie is one his favorites of his filmography.Of course the movie was a huge hit (was the # 2 box office champ of 1990 behind Ghost).

Now someone expected the same thing this time isn't? WRONG.

First Farell is not ARNOLD,Second Director Len Wiseman is NOT Paul Verhoeven,Third the script is NOT the same,Fourth composer Harry Gregson Williams is NOT Jerry Goldsmith and final even that the SF are more advanced now are NOT even equal.

Believe me stay with the original is 100% BETTER all the elements of the 1990 movie are gone they are a lot of better movies like this.

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it's all in the name...

Author: Kren Wregget from Vancouver, BC
22 August 2014

I'm a firm believer in that if they had named this film something other than "Total Recall", it would have been far more well received. This is a very solid, slick, great looking sci-fi action flick. It's only problem is that it carries the same name as a classic from the 80s.

It's unfair to compare the two films as they really don't have that much in common. While the Arnold film has mutants and Mars and great, over-the-top 80s style action, this new film is a more direct take; it almost has a 'Minority Report' vibe.

I've never been a fan of Colin Farrell, but he works well in this for some reason. Of course I'm always happy to see Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel, both of whom are right at home in action heavy scenes. Bryan Cranston as the villain lends even more authenticity to an already decent cast.

What I noticed first was that this film looks great. It's well directed and well designed, from the sets to the costumes and the synthetic police robots look amazing. I'm not sure if they were puppets or mo-cap or a combination, but they don't look like CGI, they are right in the scene. There are no hard-cut, fast-edit, shaky-cam fight scenes, the action flows and allows you to soak in what's happening; a refreshing change from what is ruining so many action films today.

Overall, if you like sci-fi and action, you should enjoy this film. This is not a reboot, as much it is a re-imagining and from what I understand, is closer to the original source material.

Don't let 80s nostalgia keep you from seeing an enjoyable pic.

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Author: keith-moyes-656-481491 from United Kingdom
15 August 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Remakes are usually only justified if the original movie had potential that was not fully realised. Total Recall was a good candidate for a remake.

Dan O'Bannon and Ron Shusett had delivered a clever expansion of Dick's short story, but the movie was weakened by poor production design, Verhoeven's taste for unnecessary gore and a typically hopeless performance by Schwarzenegger.

This version has tackled all three weaknesses. The design is good (although too derivative of films like Blade Runner and The Fifth Element), the gore has largely disappeared and Colin Farrell is at least some kind of actor. I ought to be more enthusiastic than I am.

The problem is that the remake has weaknesses of its own.

The design gives us a world and a technology that looks good but doesn't convince. I couldn't help asking why the highly-developed economy and technology that allowed the construction and maintenance of the floating cities, and could drive a lift shaft right through the centre of the Earth, was unable to reclaim the wilderness that covered most of the planet.

The excessive gore of the original has been replaced by excessive action. Fights and chases are all over-choreographed, over-long and over-elaborate. I suspect this picture would be significantly improved if it was re-cut to remove at least 10 or 15 minutes of the repetitive action.

The actual story hasn't changed much which makes it all the more frustrating that the changes that have been made are both marginal and ill-conceived. Why introduce the unconvincing technology and the 'blasted Earth' scenario if they will play no part in the story? Why eliminate Mars and replace it with that elevator to Australia nonsense? It feels like change for its own sake.

Rather than alleviating the frustration of the first version, this Total Recall has doubled it.

Instead of one botched attempt to tell a potentially good story, we now have two.

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Loved it!

Author: StaceySellers33 from United Kingdom
28 July 2014

I absolutely loved this film! I may not have seen the original and therefore cannot compare it but it is brilliant. The characters are brought to life by wonderful actors and although for some people it may be difficult to follow, I caught on straight away.

I won't give away any spoilers but it truly is rather great. The ending is spectacular and suspense is built wonderfully. Action packed and sensitive also, this film I would recommend to anyone.

I went to the cinemas to see this, and as a huge Colin Farrell fan I found no disappointment. Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel are also favourite actresses of mine and bringing them all together made me most happy. I loved the plot and how it is so compelling and intriguing. Could watch over ad over and love it every time. Never get bored. If fact, I have watched it a further 3 times after seeing it at cinemas and it still delights me the same. From me to you, this is a great film, you must see it!

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Not as fun as the original, but has its moments

Author: Charles Herold (cherold) from United States
25 July 2014

I'm not really sure why they bothered remaking this one. The producers don't seem to have had much to add. All the same, parts of this are quite enjoyable. While the lead is a little too bland-everyman, Beckinsale is fun as a very determined heavy, and the story itself is still twisty and clever, although less so if you already know the story, as fans of the original do.

There are some good action scenes as well, yet I was rarely on the edge of my seat. The special effects seemed underwhelming, especially that flying car chase, but they were decent (perhaps technically better than the original, which I haven't seen for years but which may not have aged well).

The look of the film tends towards monochromatic. This movie aims to be serious in a way the first one didn't, which may explain why the heroes are so bland.

While I don't think the world needed this remake, I don't object to its existence. It's entertaining enough. And the original wasn't such a masterpiece that it outrages me to see it remade; it was pretty silly. But between the two, I'd take the first one.

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Pointless, uninteresting remake of what was originally a clever story.

Author: Kim Sikoryak from United States
23 July 2014

Wow, who'd think that Colin Farrell would prove to be an inferior actor to Arnold Schwarzenegger? Actually, it's not Colin's fault. Despite a fairly deep cast of A-list players, this bizarre and incomprehensible version of the Phillip K. Dick story sinks the whole lot. That's two hours of my life that I'll never get back.

I guess if nothing else, this has prompted me to take another look at the original. With a cast of second-string players plus the Governator, the 1990 version had a coherent story, some great one-liners, and even a little feel-good philosophy. In the 2012 version, you can almost hear the producers and director scheming about how they can fit in a few more explosions and fist fights (both of which go on interminably). And who paid the Bladerunner designer to recreate Australia as a rain-soaked dystopia? I take that back; that's an affront to Bladerunner. Hey, anything to avoid character development and storyline. It's too common a ploy to keep the action going at such a frenetic pace that the viewer doesn't have time to tumble to the fact that the story makes no sense.

Sorry guys, I think most of us see through that in the first 10 minutes. Avoid this stinker and stick with the original, with all its Schwarzeneggerisms. Consider this review a divorce!

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Just Keep Repeating

Author: John Saunders from United States
3 July 2014

I've read the original PKD story, and seen and liked the original movie.

As a result, I decided to hate this movie as soon as the opening started talking about chemical warfare and The Fall.

However, I eventually managed to watch the whole thing.

Then watched it again, and a third time.

I succeeded by repeating to myself, "It's only an action movie. It's only an action movie." In that light, it's a pretty good action movie. The art design is good, and the action is believable, and if you allow yourself, you'll be dragged along, kicking and screaming, into a pretty good movie.

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You can't remake a Schwarzenegger classic.

Author: gorn9146 from United States
24 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a stand alone movie. This one is alright. But as a remake? Horrible. In my personal opinion, they strayed way too far from the original for this to qualify as an actual remake. I mean, they don't even go to Mars in this one and virtually the whole story took place on Mars in the original. The character "Richter" from the original version has been discarded all together. Quaid's "wife" Lori seems to assume that part. She is a secret government agent like in the original version but here she actually takes charge of chasing Quaid down and trying to kill him.

If you've never seen the original version then this one is alright. I think it could've been better but it's not too bad. If, like me, you grew up with the original Schwarzenegger classic, prepare to be severely disappointed.

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A vast improvement over the 1990's film of the same name.

Author: J-bot6 from Canada
23 June 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This 2012 version of Total Recall starring Colin Farrell is a welcome improvement over the campy 1990 Verhoeven film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger). I had high hopes for the earlier Verhoeven film and was disappointed in the cartoony special effects, convoluted plot, campy character portrayals, and substandard editing.

In this new version of the film, the editing and musical score have both been improved. As a result, the events flow much better. Visual effects have -- of course -- improved. However, it should be mentioned that the 1990 film already suffered from some truly horrid special and visual effects, even for its time. Fortunately the people working on this new film clearly have a more critical eye for effects and shots. The cinematography in this 2012-release is excellent. If I were to ask for anything in this new version, it would be a bit more time for certain establishing shots, since some of them appear to have been cut a little bit shorter than they should be (giving the sense that the shot was a bit rushed).

And it's on that note that I should mention the pacing. I don't generally like action sequences, simply for the sake of action. However, in this film I'm okay with it. Regardless, the action sequences are on the verge of being an over-load; it would be nice to have just a few more scenes in which the pace is slowed down a bit. The lull points would help pull the viewer deeper into the film's richly-rendered world.

I found the main character to be much more convincing in this new version. Colin Farrell plays the character in a more realistic manner than Schwarzenegger. In the 1990 film, there was little feeling that the main character was in any real danger, since he was being played by a massive (literally) action hero. Arnie in his prime isn't someone who generally looks like he's under any real duress. Colin Farrell plays a more believable everyman at the beginning -- which more effectively sets the audience up for the reveals that follow. Nice work by Kate Beckinsale for her portrayal of a convincingly-threatening villain.

Finally, kudos to the people who worked on design development for this new film. The concepts are a joy to watch, and are brilliantly executed on-screen. Believe me, I've seen a ton of sci-fi, and this is some of the nicest to watch.

I'm sure there are many who hold the 1990 film close to their hearts. So be it. For those who are more into the immersive, atmospheric, and less-campy variety of sci-fi, this new offering is well worth seeing.

Ignore the negative reviews and give this movie a shot. After all, cinema is a highly-subjective art-form. If you're truly steeped in this genre (especially in science fiction from 1977 to 1983), I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

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Good as a stand alone movie

Author: CMTiago from Portugal
12 June 2014

Had this movie not had a connection with the original movie and it would have been a nice summer movie with all the cool explosions with it. By carrying this burden of being a remake, the Total Recall movie of 2012 is sometimes harshly criticized for failing to live up to expectations, and while I do agree that the original is better, this one does have its perks. For example, the action scenes are more modernized and hence a little more fast paced. While the 1990 version was a more over the top adventure, this one takes a more serious route and also a darker vibe about its future (Mars isn't even a part of this film). Performance wise, the movie is okay with Farrell and Cranston handling the good guy/bad guy dynamic well. As for the girls I think they actually succeeded in making Melina much more hotter by casting Jessica Biel. Of course, Kate Beckinsale is wonderful as Lori as well. When compared with Arnie's Sci- Fi classic, this version of the futuristic tale won't stand a chance. If you choose to view this as an entertaining movie that only resembles the latter in its premise, then I guarantee you will have a good time.

Rating 7,5/10

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