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Total Recall
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Reviews & Ratings for
Total Recall More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Good action scenes but disappointing

Author: davidjemitus-534-606702 from London, England
6 January 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I loved the original starring big Arnold but looked forward to a remake starring Colin Farrell.

The action scenes are great, the sets are amazing with an extreme Blade Runner type vision of the future with mega buildings, rain, vehicles everywhere and nowhere to breathe.

Some of the gadgets are well wicked and the two leading ladies enjoy kicking ass.

BUT, changing the story to be earthbound was a big loss and the acting early on was woeful though it did pick-up once the hero was in spy mode.

Worth watching but really it is a wasted opportunity as the film certainly had the budget and the actors to be very special.

Bring back Arnie.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

"The past is a construct of the mind. It blinds us."

Author: Al_The_Strange from United States
19 December 2012

This film has received its fair share of outrage. In this day and age with all kinds of films being arbitrarily remade for a quick buck (like Footloose, of all things), Total Recall comes off as just another tired remake. What makes it worse is that the original Total Recall is one of those films that's firmly established its status as a classic science fiction picture; I've known many fans who've expressed their disgust over taking Paul Verhoeven's pulpy masterpiece and practically desecrating it.

Frankly, the hate is justifiable, given that this remake hits up all the same plot points but changes so much around. One could probably spend pages comparing Len Wiseman's film to Verhoeven's, and highlighting everything that made the original better.

That being said, there are things I enjoyed about the remake. A lot of things, actually. The film definitely has action and spectacle: the cityscapes rendered here are among some of the best I've seen since the Star Wars prequels (and they do bear a lot in common with Blade Runner), and serves as a very interesting setpiece for a constant barrage of fight scenes, pursuits, and huge explosions. The action is pretty cool, and I was especially enthralled by the hovercraft chase in the middle of the film. There is a little bit of drag in the first half of the film, but otherwise, I found it most enjoyable.

The plot is pretty much a clone of the original 1990 film, just swapping out specific aspects and the setting. Mars is no longer a major setting; it's all set on a pair of highly futuristic megalopolises. Surprisingly, I believe this is one change that actually benefits the film: as crowded and condensed these cities are, there's finally a logical reason for having the Rekall virtual vacations in this universe. Additionally, the film does show a lot of really cool futuristic things that appeal to sci-fi nerds like myself: I was really intrigued to see a man using his hand as a phone, or to see an entire building fall through a tunnel running through the core of the Earth. Above all, the overall look, style, and tone of the film matches up really well with the type of sci-fi adventure that Phillip K. Dick (author of the original story this franchise is based on) is better known for.

Problem is, all the originality in these few parts don't make the sum of the parts original. Characters don't really stand out much, and the story overall just feels like it's using the structure of the original film as a mere template for all the action scenes and cool ideas. All style and no substance. It figures.

The most criminal omission in the story would be the ambiguity of whether or not the events of the film are "real." In the original, you could conclude that it was all in Quaid's head. You can't in this new version; it's not a mind-bender by any means. In fact, it's the opposite.

Say what you will, I still find the film slick and stylish, as expected with a Len Wiseman film. The opening scenes proved to be a little painful on the eyes, with the lens flares and intense strobe lighting, but I was grateful that it didn't persist for long. Otherwise, I enjoyed the camera work and editing. The actors do the best they can: Collin Farrell is the man, while Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale put on their typical tough-girl acts. Writing is not a big standout. This production has a ton of great-looking sets, props, costumes, and special effects. Music has some cool parts.

As expected, the new Total Recall offers a lot of spectacle and cool new toys, but the original is still the best. Sci-fi fans and action junkies might want to give this new take a look; it's about as good (or as bad) as something like The Day The Earth Stood Still remake. If that just appalls you, then you might want to keep your distance.

3.5/5 (Entertainment: Good | Story: Average | Film: Pretty Good)

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

You have to understand that the whole movie is in the "Recall"...

Author: aero-windwalker from United States
3 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

While many don't understand is, the movie is depicting the main character Douglas Quaid in his "Recall". Similar to the original title, the plot and the accidents are ridiculous - similar to "American Psycho" - it is supposed to be ridiculous. It's a smart way of making movies so it leads to discussion of weather the movie was "artificial memories" from the "Recall".

I can't deny that most audiences had lost patience watching and thinking about movies these days because in fact they have been so sick of truly understand a movie you have to stop watching them for a while, having the desire and anticipation of what it might be like before you go ahead and enjoy them like fast food. Total Recall is quite entertaining, the minus 1 point is due to the lack of creative element for fighting scene.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

It's actually really good!! Great special effect, action and acting

Author: anbei68 from United Kingdom
11 November 2012

A lot of people watch this movie to see mutated human and mars, but to be honest, forget about the first film, it was great but this movie did a really good job using an old name but making a great action flick. The action and acting was great (even though as a martial art practitioner i didn't think some of the fight scene was realistic, but im not expecting it to be a fighting film anyway). The highlight is really the twists of the storyline, and the futuristic landscape and taste - as a die hard science fiction movie fan, I was incredibly impressed with that. All the acting was superb, Colin and Bryan did a fantastic job, as well as Kate and Jessica (they both are my favorite Hollywood actress).

Anyway, this film is a must watch for any Sci-fi fans, and remember try not to expect any old 1990 version before watching it - this film stand solid on its own as a great sci-fi + action film!

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

At last a reboot that doesn't just try to reshoot the original

Author: chebs1 from United Kingdom
13 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Before I start let me say that I too loved the original when it first came out. It was original in it's day. It was also yet another Arnie film to source for movie one-liners and quips. Unfortunately, the very things that made it fun also made it a pretty silly sci-fi film.

I'll just say straight out that I loved this reboot. It's not played for laughs which is a smart move - yes in the day Arnie's comedic one-liners where right for the time but now the audience that loved that film has grown up, moved on and wants a more serious version, what's wrong with that?

The story has been re-written and has removed the need for Mars as a back drop or the, frankly, silly premise of mind reading mutants.

There is a lot of action, in fact once Quaid gets to Rekall, the film becomes a non-stop roller-coaster of action. Again, I don't understand why people are complaining about this. It's suppose to be a sci-fi/ action film, the original was a sci-fi/action film what's is the problem?

If there is a criticism it would be that other than the main characters, namely those played by Farrel, Beckinsale and Biel, the other main characters (Cohaagen and Matthias) don't really get any explanation or introduction, then again do they need it? I'm not so sure.

For all those complaining about the fact that the original kept you guessing as to whether it really was a dream or reality. You obviously haven't seen both versions (the theatrical release and the directors cut). Lets just say in one it goes one way in the other another.

So, bottom line, if you want a really well put together sci-fi/action film with cutting edge special effects, an excellent story that is really well acted by all involved, watch this. If you want to reminisce and bitch about anything that's different, don't watch this. Either way suit yourself.

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Well worth the ticket price

Author: riley-piley from Seattle, Washington
27 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just got back from mt local theater. Tonight I saw the sci-FY thriller "Total Recall" and I have to say: it was awesome. One of my favorite sci-FY movies of all time. The basic premise of the movie is that the antagonist used to lead a different life, and however it happened, he lost his memory. And now he's trying to figure out more about his past while trying to avoid the cops. Now, premise aside, let's talk about the movie.

There was a lot to this movie that made it what it was in my mind. The visual effects were great and well thought out, which really made the action sequences stand out. Not only that, but the scenery looked really awesome and futuristic. The action sequences were good and gripping. My personal favorite would have to be the battle on top of and in the terminal that runs through the earth. The science behind the fiction was (apparently) almost perfect. And finally, the plot line was exceptional. It kept me hooked the whole time. It took a lot of turns that I did not see coming. I don't want to go into details and spoil anything. It was just exceptional.

I do have a few complaints however. With all the things that were exceptional about this movie, the acting was not one of them. Don't get me wrong. The acting was good. It just was over shadowed by how awesome everything else was. None of the roles stood out to me as worth mentioning. But this is a minor complaint, because the acting was good. I enjoyed it. But I feel that if they had some better actors on board, the movie as a whole would be WAY better. The movie also had some predictable Hollywood moments. Nothing too bad. Just a bit personally irritating. Also, on a sad note, I had to face the fact that according to this movie, after hundreds of years, dubstep is still around. Let's try to change that :) All in all, I'd give the new Total Recall a 8.4/10. Great movie. Truly one of the best of its kind. The only movie I could recommend above it would be the Dark Knight Rises if you STILL haven't seen it.

Oh, and from one bro to another, the lead female actresses in this movie were not bad on the eyes in the slightest.

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18 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Total Recall is entertaining!

Author: maddy_nov1978 from India
9 August 2012

This movie is way better than the original Arnie version. It has some emotional moments which was completely lacking in the original. Nevertheless to mention, the new Total Recall keeps viewers less confused unlike the old version where the director had no idea how to end the movie.

I went through many reviews that say that the original Arnie version has his best acting skills of all time. Forgive me, but Arnie & acting? Nay... Colin Farell is at his best in this movie. The action sequences are a treat for your eyes. I am so glad not to see the two faced martians or any other weird characters in this new version.

This movie may not be the best but obviously an entertaining science fiction.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: Tri Cao from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
14 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

All right, we all known that the context of the film set in future with all the cool stuff in the future like: high speed floating car, new tech gun, even the stuff that change faces... but where the hell is defense system (even a small object called "camera") that the film didn't have; and like others action film of a man with special skills, the main character has the thing called "invisible shield" to never get shot at . Yet there're some unrealistic that i didn't came up with like politics and gravity train... because my English not so well. I really enjoy this action film at the beginning but later on... it sucks. This is the film that i recommended myself and other people not to watch twice.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

action, action, more action, till we're numb

Author: SnoopyStyle
11 August 2013

The 1990 original had Arnold Schwarzenegger in campy fun action movie. But in this one, Len Wiseman dropped any sense of camp. In fact, Len took his red marker and crossed out anything remotely resembling a light moment.

This one stars a good cast Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel. They do some good stunts but I wouldn't say there is any chemistry between anybody. The movie doesn't stop for a moment to take a breath. It's either action, action, action, or explain, explain, explain. The ending runs on, and on, and on. Basically it takes too long to finish.

Now we come to The Fall. It's a visually interesting idea, but it makes no sense. It looks good. It has good visuals, but IT MAKES NO SENSE. If The Fall delivers you to another planet, that would make more sense.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Pure all out action... But lacked a little something!

Author: Warren Marris from United Kingdom
29 June 2013

I was always very dubious when i hear they were doing a remake as they are rarely as good as the original. Sadly, this is one case in point!

However, do not let that put you off the film... Had the 1990 version never been released - I would be marking this film as a 7 or 8...

Its an all out action blockbuster - Dark and foreboding and based almost entirely on the original novel (Which like "The Running Man" the original could not do...)

Sadly, there was one thing that Arnie did bring to the original that lacks throughout - Humour! Its what made the original a classic.

Overall, Farell is brilliant once more as is Beckinsdale (Also very sexy).

Not a patch on the original but a great film if you have not seen the 1990 version and worth a watch.

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