A factory worker, Douglas Quaid, begins to suspect that he is a spy after visiting Recall - a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to have led - goes wrong and he finds himself on the run.
The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's corrupted creation and a unique ally who was born inside the digital world.
Transported to Barsoom, a Civil War vet discovers a barren planet seemingly inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Woola and a princess in desperate need of a savior.
Young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the International Military to lead the fight against the Formics, an insectoid alien race who had previously tried to invade Earth and had inflicted heavy losses on humankind.
Originally adapted by director Paul Verhoeven in 1990, author Philip K. Dick's classic Sci-Fi short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale returns to the big screen in this remake starring Colin Farrell, Bryan Cranston, and Kate Beckinsale, and directed by Underworld's Len Wiseman. The planet has been decimated by nuclear war in the late 21st century, leaving only two nations -- the United Federation of Britain and the Colony. Douglas Quaid (Farrell) is a factory worker with a stable job and a loving wife (Beckinsale), but upon learning that a company named Rekall could grant him the memory of the ultimate espionage adventure, he decides that a virtual vacation is better than no vacation at all. But in the midst of having the new memories implanted, something goes haywire. Still strapped to the chair as the system breaks down, he's branded a spy as the authorities close in, and quickly flees for his life. Later, Quaid discovers that he has a secret identity, and he joins forces ...
When Quaid shows the new guy where to safely hold parts on the robot they are assembling, in the next shot the new guy doesn't seem to take any notice and puts his hand in the unsafe position again and continues working. See more »
There is also a 130-minute extended cut, which has the following changes that makes the original story more complex and clarifies certain plot lines:
The first major change is that due to Ethan Hawke's appearance as the original Hauser, it has been clarified that Hauser becomes Quaid via memory wipe and a facial transplant. Also, rather than being converted by the resistance, it was revealed that Quaid was implanted into the resistance, with past memories to be re-implanted after completion by Cohaagen (evident by a line from him to Lori: "Neutralize only, do you understand me? No lethal force. I want him alive for re-implantation"). Subsequent scenes that appear throughout in the theatrical version have been replaced with material matching the plot point, mostly significant in his London apartment and after the raid at the resistance hideout.
The second major change is the relationship of Matthias and Melina, which is revealed and clarified as father and daughter in the new cut. Subsequent scenes that appear throughout in the theatrical version have been replaced with material matching the plot point, mostly significant after the raid at the resistance hideout.
A slight longer prologue while Quaid removes the locks on the grid as Melina covers him. He admits that he loves her and they kiss for a moment before she fires again at the pursuers after once the locks have been removed.
On the way to work, Quaid passes an ID-check and a electronic scanner. Harry complaints that he couldn't adjust to the new shift but the extra allowance makes up for it.
Harry argues that he had instructed the last new guy who, in subsequence, was fired by the supervisor. The supervisor orders Doug to do so and leaves.
In this cut, the conversation is now at the government official's room instead of the shift supervisor's room. The government official tells him that he's doing a loyalty check on workers to ensure they are not involved in any coup d'etat activities. Quaid behaves quite hostile here, but begrudgingly signs the loyalty form when told that he risks losing his job for not signing it.
After work, in The Fall, he now sleeps and has a recurring dream rather than staying awake.
The bar scene with Quaid and Harry is slightly longer: Harry asks why Quaid isn't happy with his life then asks who is the girl in the dream he had, which Doug says there's no girl; Harry also completes the line: "And go home to your wife."
On the way to the Rekall center, there's a longer moment between Quaid and the three-breast hooker with sparse shots of robot women hookers on the way.
Hammond (Quaid's partner in the enforcement) tells his cover name is Henry, before Quaid goes to the bank. At the bank, Quaid had some problem with the routine signature match procedure before he goes to the vault.
The confrontation between Harry, Quaid and Melina was longer in separate bits: Harry is trying to convince Quaid that the whole situation now was a result of a trauma from a chemical fantasy; he reveals that he was worried about him in the bar and had followed him to the Rekall facility; when asking about why Harry wears a bulletproof vest, he says he was trying to help him out of the hallucination, while Melina insists that the whole situation is real. Quaid gets confused doesn't know who to believe; Melina loses patience and utters angrily that Harry should tell Quaid the truth or she would kill him; Harry symbolizes Melina as Quaid's frustration and unhappiness.
In the Fall, Quaid sneaks pass two policemen. A computer voice warns that the Colony (rigged with a bomb) is due in 17 minutes. Later Melina enters there through a shaft below the upper platform.
Just before the end, Quaid removes the bandage over the spot where the Rekall injection tattoo was burnt into. It's no longer there. He's confused and Melina asks him whether he's alright.
I guess the floodgates are now open. Adapting Philip K. Dick's stories are no longer enough, and now a trend may follow either to remake the films that have already been done, to give it another spin for a new generation, or how about remaking all of the films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, starting from Conan, and now Total Recall. For sure, Colin Farrell can't step into the ex-Mr Universe's hulking frame in playing the construction worker turned double agent Douglas Quaid through what would seem like a fantasy walk in the park for the mind gone all wrong, but if you'd put away your memory of the past film, then his outing here would stand out against his recent slate of projects, bringing him back to action-hero mould even if Len Wiseman's vision here turned a little bit suspect.
Fans of the original film will see only slight similarities in this one, since it took on a different adventure altogether after the familiar introduction. Quaid experiencing a nightmare of a dream only to wake up beside the sexy wife in Lori (Kate Beckinsale, in a role played by Sharon Stone previously, in lingerie no less), and finding that there's probably more to life than just home and work. Enticed by the fantasy inducing company called Rekall where one can live out one's fantasy for a fee, Douglas soon discovers he got more than he bargained for. The contraption's design got brought over, and so did the cult favourite in the three breasted woman, which Singapore back then didn't get to see at all because our censors found it offensive and unreal. The identity mask also has another go, although with less fun, being solely functional and little else.
But what was sorely missed in this remake, is the quip after quip of Arnie-isms, those puns made each time Douglas Quaid did something smart alecky, dispatched an opponent, or just wanted to drawl on something in his Austrian accent. In the typical Arnie movie, there's always room for fun, jokes, and those legendary one liners. Here, all we get are dead serious moments, with the whole look and feel being laden with the need to feel all gritty. Colin Farrell wears a scowl throughout, being perplexed and confused about his true identity in Jason Bourne style complete with mysterious artifacts stored in a safe deposit box, and having doubts to the role he has to play in the entire battle between the Haves and Have Nots.
This Total Recall requires that you junk all memories of the Schwarzenegger film, in order to enjoy the new narrative involving a chemical fallout across all lands save for Britain and parts of Europe now being part of a Greater Britain, and Australia, known as The Colony (yes, some slight historical references here). There's no Mars this time round, as the story gets set strictly on Earth, involving a carnival styled train service that commutes between the two territories, having to pass adjacent to the Earth's core, for some nifty CG effects involving gravitational force reversal.
CG seemed to be what Director Len Wiseman ordered for the film, with green screen effects and CG laden landscapes peppering the entire movie, that makes you wonder about the tagline "What is real?" indeed. It's big on action sequences and slight on actual story, with pauses only to allow the film to breathe a little, before embarking on yet another stunt sequence that involves plenty of running for Douglas Quaid, and his new found love interest / revolutionary partner Melina (Jessica Biel), as they escape from rooftops to elevators, pass through deadly three dimensional elevator shafts and tunnels, fighting their way past synthetic troopers ala Star Wars. It does get pretty generic after a while, that these sequences all start to look very much the same, and probably a Star Wars: Clone Wars episode gone wrong.
Also for the tagline of "What is real?", this remake doesn't really keep you in suspense in a what is, and what is not thought, because for this new generation of audiences, Len Wiseman probably considered it best if everything was spoonfed. So there's no need to guess, and everything got explained verbatim, that you'd know whether it's real, otherwise, and just about every plot and character twist being laid out for all and sundry. Between the two female leads, Kate Beckinsale got more screen time for obvious reasons, though it's not everyday that we get to see her in a negative role. It's clearly expanded here, with her Melina being something of an amalgam of the roles played by Sharon Stone and Michael Ironside as the relentless pursuer of Douglas Quaid, adamant in hunting him down and finishing him off, against orders.
Ultimately, Total Recall 2012 is one big amusement park ride. This will probably be enjoyable for anyone in for an average CG action adventure extravaganza and have no knowledge of the fun blockbuster the first one was, but for the rest of us who have seen Paul Verhoeven's version, this one definitely pales in comparison, in story, action and just plain fun. And Arnold Schwarzenegger was in his prime then, with big shoes that didn't get filled this time round.
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