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Total Recall More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:


Author: reece young from Australia
4 September 2012

I have seen the original movie countless times growing up, this remake does it great justice. The cast fit well, the acting was great and the action and directing of this movie was brilliant! until the very end, of which was not the greatest 'end of movie battle'. Besides that it was well constructed and if you had seen the original it definitely misleads you to think you know what is going to happen, but you don't. It was really well designed to correlate with the original but maintaining its own story line without letting the lines get too crossed. In order to replicate an old classic and maintaining a fresh new story would not be easy. 10/10 from me.

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13 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

A Homeless Man's Minority Report

Author: ndimeo09 from United States
12 August 2012

I find it very ironic that the last name of the director of this turkey is Wiseman, for the purpose of this review I will refer to this genius auteur as Dumbman. This needless remake by Dumbman is completely void of the fun and thrills that the original movie exuded. Dumbman is clearly a man obsessed with the love of his wife which can only explain the constant screen time of Mrs. Dumbman who does not have a fraction of the intensity and scariness that Michael Ironside showed in the original film. The most famous scene in the original is the FX scene involving a very large older woman stopped at a checkpoint, in the remake this scene was completely wasted and has a very lackluster payoff. The original film is never going to be confused with Casablanca but it had its merits and those merits stayed with the viewer many years after it was available at the theater or on VHS home video, where I first saw it. This turkey by Dumbman completely left my mind right after I got my money back by the theater manager. I assume that after I write this review I won't think about this movie again until I hear about Dumbman and his wife filing for divorce. Don't waste your money on this one, go see The Dark Knight Rises again.

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14 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Total Recall Flop

Author: ( from South Africa
2 September 2012

I watched Total Recall today and was absolutely disgusted at the post production standard but more about that later. The storyline was pretty weak, no character development to speak of. Kate Beckinsale is best suited to playing a vampire which was pretty disappointing as she can shine when she truly wants to but as Farrell's arch nemesis, nope did not work at all. Jessica Biel was the "star" of the show as she was true to form with her normal 2 star lackluster performance for which she is noted, so no surprises there. Farrell's performance reminded me a lot of his Bullseye role in Daredevil in which no one ever figured whether he was happy, sad, angry or just bored. In this movie he was spot on with the same sort of devoid emotions. Pretty reminiscent of Miami Vice which was a great movie due to its good direction and excellent post work but Farrell tries a little too hard in every single movie he stars in. Please take a lesson or 2 from Cruise or Banderas about being natural. The most appalling aspect of this movie besides its lack of depth and shallow storyline etc etc was the post work. I am a professional visual effects supervisor, director, editor and DOP and have never ever seen such unnecessary use of flares in any movie..not ever. This was actually distracting and totally unnecessary. I counted off the flare shots and lost count after 40. Not a light source in sight yet a flare would show up on screen. Was this supposed to be a very long music video? I wish I could get hold of the director and voice my opinion.

1 out of this only if you are being forced gunpoint...

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15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Total waste of time

Author: dgefroh from United States
1 November 2012

When the original Total Recall came out, it had a lot of really cool special effect, a truly engaging storyline, some of the hottest actors/actresses in the business, and was basically a decent movie. Years later some dumb ass producers and some brain dead director thought it would be a good idea to remake this movie and market it to the 2012 movie goers. Lets hire some decent actors, some hot babe actresses, get a flunky to rewrite the script and by the way don't even remotely follow the original script that was a success, these brain dead idiots thought they should rewrite the story so it would make no sense to anyone who has half a brain and tries in vain to watch and understand a fraction of what he or she is watching. So that all being said I ask you this, would you consider this a good idea? Would you spend your hard earned money to watch this crap? Is your life so void of any measure of worth that you would waste 2 hours of whatever time you have left on earth watching this trite? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then quit sniffing those paint flumes, put down the crack pipe, get a day pass from the sanitarium you reside in and enjoy. For the rest of us, carry on and forget about it.....

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15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

What a total waste of time.

Author: Vishal P from Australia
2 September 2012

I just came back from watching this awful movie and let me just say it was a total waste of time and and insult to the original. No story line and for god sake adding a touch of Australia when referring to down-under as a colony would have been a little respectful to the country. The colony felt like hongkong ... well what can be expected from some American director who made such hideously mind numbing movie. Also, I think it was made for Kate Beckinsale, by her husband, as in not one scene did she look unattractive, despite of the grotesquely never ending action scenes, and Jessica Biel looks not so attractive in most of the scenes. Sorry for venting as this movie gave me a massive headache.

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15 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Total Gloss

Author: Mek Torres from Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
24 August 2012

The 1990's version of Total Recall was a solid sci-fi adventure despite of its silly moments, especially the remarkable scene when Arnold Schwarzenegger's eyeballs are popping out. But those unhinged moments are the reason why the first film is so charming. This remake tries to be more serious and wants to take away the silliness from the first film. The result is it looks cool. It looks so cool, it looks like that is the only ambition of the movie. Anything else is just bland characters and a series of chases, and action. When it becomes suspenseful, it fails to deliver the tension. Total Recall seemingly doesn't care about anything else but to play around the futuristic world that is set in.

It's a total gloss. The film is nothing but a series of action set pieces and cool looking visuals. The world of the film looks intriguing but we don't get to know much of it. We know its origins and nothing else. Aside of its Blade-Runner-esque world, the story is still there, but it loses focus by the overlong sequences of action. There's nothing wrong with too many action, except if you don't care about the characters, you wouldn't feel the thrill and just watch these soulless beings run.

The characters are incredibly bland. Colin Farrell ends up being a boring generic hero. Kate Beckinsale is just doing her action swagger. Bryan Cranston is the only one who is fun to watch among the cast. The rest, Bokeem Woodbine and John Cho are both pretty awkward with their short roles. The worst is Jessica Biel who basically embraces the blandness of the script. She may not be the right one for this role but she could've at least gave some personality to the character.

For its fan service, the film recaptures some scenes from the original, but they're just there. It doesn't make any difference. There are scenes that tries to be suspenseful, but they somehow fail to work because, once again, the looks has more attention. Its fortitude is replaced by the excessive amount of shoddy lens flares. The only merit here now is the visuals. They sure look good even though we've seen most of them before. It's still pretty eye candy.

To be honest, I'm actually optimistic about this remake, but unfortunately, it is really disappointing. It does succeed to be less sillier than the original but it is also less interesting. Too much action and explosions may sound fun, but most of it is just stale and empty. Years from now, if someone mentions this title, people will still recall Schwarzenegger's unhinged performance and the fun from the original. Total Recall could have been a good remake if it cares more to the story's idea than throwing away all the CGI effects on screen.

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16 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

A better than expected remake

Author: abisio from Miami
4 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The original TOTAL RECALL was directed by the Paul Verhoeven; the genius behind ROBOCOP and STARTSHIP TROOPERS among others masterpieces. The GOVERNATOR played the main character, and baddies where Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside and Ronny Cox. The new version, directed by the mind behind the UNDERWORLD series; Len Wiseman who happens to be Kate Beckinsale husband and starred by Colin Farrell, Kate and Bryan Cranston the baddies (Ironside character was eliminated; probably to give Kate more screen time) and Jessica Biel (in an undeveloped character in both movies). Compare the two versions is tricky. The new one has outstanding special effects and certain things, like the resolution are less disappointing than creating an atmosphere in Mars in just a few seconds; however the humor of the first movie has nowhere to be found in the new version.

Colin is a good replacement for Arnold and Kate is a total bitch so her character is credible. Action and violence are strong so the movie is easy and fun to watch. If you saw the original, there is nothing really new aside from the FX.

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17 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

An affair to forget.

Author: The_Film_Cricket from Birmingham, Alabama
6 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first two things that you notice about the remake of Total Recall: There is no trip to Mars and there are no mutants. The original 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger film centered its plot within a Martian colony inhabited by mutated humanoids living in a place both fascinating and horrifying. Without a cameo by The Red Planet, this new movie stays earthbound and becomes just a chase picture. Without mutants, how then do you explain the presence of a three-breasted prostitute? Apparently, there are some sights we just can't do without.

The 1990 film was, of course, one of Schwarzenegger's best-loved films. It too, was a long chase picture but it had some flair, some goofy comedy, some sense of purpose. This new film is dead serious. It is all chase and very little personality, just as we feel that we are getting close to the characters having a personality, they are interrupted by gunfire, and we're off and running.

Both this film, and the 1990 original are based on a classic 1966 short story "We Can Remember it for You Wholesale" by science fiction legend Philip K. Dick, whose work also inspired Blade Runner. The movie takes place at the other end of this century when the air has become so polluted that most of the earth is uninhabitable. Only two areas of the earth are able to sustain human life, one is Western Europe, now called The United Federation of Britain. The other is the former Australia, now simply called The Colony. People get from one area to the other via a vertical subway train that moves through the earth. How they keep from getting incinerated at the core is never explained.

A soulless government runs the UFB, which has packed so many people into Western Europe that it has become dangerously overdeveloped and overpopulated. There is no longer a sense of architecture, only buildings that seem to be built without a plan. Located within The Colony is a resistance movement bent on overthrowing the oppressive government. The leader of the UFB, a bull-head politician named Cohaagan (Bryan Cranston), is developing a plan to squash the resistance with his robotic invasion force. We see this conflict mostly in brief glimpses on television screens. We hear about it, but never get involved in it.

Within the forbidding landscape of the UFB is Douglas Quaid (Colin Ferrell), a genial good-egg who is married to a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) and works as a construction worker, building Cohaagan's security droids. He is plagued by the fact that his life seems to have no meaning, no purpose, no excitement. That's why an ad for a place called Rekall peaks his interest.

Rekall allows its clients the experience of having memories implanted in their brains that will make their wildest fantasies come true. Against the advice of his best buddy Harry (Bokeem Woodbine), Doug goes to Rekall. Strapped to a chair and about to be put under, it is suddenly revealed that he isn't who he thinks he is. His memory has been replaced by another. His whole life as he knows it is a lie, even his seven year marriage. That's the film's first 20 minutes. The rest of the picture is one long and exhausting chase.

For a picture like this to work, we have to have characters to care about. Ferrell is a good actor but his role consists of so much shooting and running and jumping that we never get to know him. There is none of the fear and panic and confusion that you could imagine going on in his mind, or that Schwarzenegger brought to the original. At Ferrell's side is a resistance agent named Melina (Jessica Biel) whose entire role is to run behind Ferrell and save him when not being saved herself. The deeper mystery of the original story, which toyed around with whether or not this was all a dream, is contained in one effective scene in which Harry tries to convince Doug that he is asleep in a chair at Rekall and that all he needs to do to wake up is shoot Melina. After that, we continue the chase and the whole dream plot is more or less abandoned.

Without characters to care about, our attention focuses on the special effects, which are expertly crafted if not all that memorable. Do you remember the Schwarzenegger film? Remember the X-ray machine? Remember the fingernail polish pen? The "two weeks" lady? The Johnnycab? Those were exciting special effects because they were at the service of creating a future world of ideas and possibilities. Those effects were so remarkable that the Academy decided that year to forgo the Visual Effects category at the Oscars and give the film the award out right.

This new film isn't nearly that special. There are some impressive sights. Most of the technology is made up of digital holograms and implants, the most impressive being a phone that is implanted into the palm of your hand that can be answered by touching a pane of glass. Another is a skyway packed with flying cars which offers up the film's most impressive action scene. But there is so much to the effects and the set decoration and so little to the story that you feel that this was a wasted opportunity. It is a well-made film, but ultimately it is a film that you will - I'll say it - soon forget.

**1/2 (out of four)

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21 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Not worth it

Author: Zulu42 from United States
6 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I do enjoy a good scifi movie and I was willing to give this remake of the very enjoyable Schwarsengegger-helmed 1990 version a whirl because of that. Well, it turned out to be one clunkers of the year (to me at least).

Instead of going to Mars, where a stranglehold on a precious mined mineral makes Cohaagen (the big cheese) create a tyrannical rule over the inhabitants of that planet by rationing air, the deal here never leaves Earth. How boring. We are supposed to believe that some chemical war wiped out pretty much every country on the planet except for Britain and the continent of Australia (though neighboring places like New Zealand or France got whacked and far more distant land masses like Hawaii in the center of the Pacific are's so absurd it's asinine). The Cohaagen in this movie (played by Bryan Cranston) wants to take over what's left of the livable space by doing some major housecleaning of the existing population of "the colony" (Australia) because things have gotten packed pretty tight in Britain. There's a whole lot of gunfire throughout this flick and things getting blown to hell and those bits seem to serve the purpose of covering up the severe lack of interesting plot. Colin Farrell is the Quaid/Hauser character, and while he's a great actor, he just didn't do justice to this role. A tougher dude would've been more believable in the role of a sleeper agent like Hauser. The awesome Bill Nighy is in this movie but his character is sadly underused.

What IS good is the casting of Cranston as Cohaagen (he plays him as such a scumbag that it's hard to connect Bryan with his other roles like the comedic Hal in Malcolm in the Middle, where he was hilarious). A truly talented man. Also good were Kate Beckinsale as cunning viper Lori, and Jessica Biel, who as good gal Melina, is really making a nice niche for herself as a kick ass heroine type.

So, while there are several remakes which are pretty decent (The Italian Job or Ocean's Eleven, for instance), there are crappy ones too, like Escape From Witch Mountain or this silly movie. Wait for it to come to cable if you're curious cause it's just not what it could've been.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

'Recall' is forgettable

Author: Fluke_Skywalker from United States
15 January 2014

Though it boasts impressive special effects and decent--if increasingly repetitive--action sequences, the re-make of 'Total Recall' is ultimately undermined by a weak script and dull performances.

Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston are all solid actors, but their performances here lack energy and charisma. Even though the film was attempting to strike a more serious tone than the original, it's no excuse for the nearly comatose acting on display here. It doesn't help that the script fails to supply them with even a semblance of humor or wit. Most egregious of all, it fails to do anything fresh or original with the premise.

Ironically, 'Total Recall' ends up being utterly forgettable.

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