Friday, 21 December 2012

Will you be able to recall Len Wiseman's Total Recall?

The fact that Total Recall was made by the studio called Original Films smacks somewhat of irony, also does anyone think Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel look somewhat similar? Anywho with Len Wiseman at the helm, a director famous for good visuals and nothing else, it seems unlikely that the remake will be better than the 1990 original.

World War Three destroys the world leaving only two habitable places remaining, the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the colony (you know because imperialists you see), with the colony being Australia. Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) seems a happily married man but a trip to Rekall (a business that inserts artificial memories) seems to awaken something from a past life and Quaid is the target of the government and his own wife (Kate Beckinsale).

Much like Len Wiseman’s previous films, Total Recall has plenty of visual style, but somewhat lacking in other departments. Visually, the film owes a debt to the likes of Blade Runner (the neon lit cities are inspired by those in Blade Runner), and the city backdrops to look spectacular and wonderfully detailed. The visuals of the recent remake made the special effects in the original looks dated; however the special effects in the original Total Recall have a somewhat endearing feel to them as they were made with a feeling of passion. In contrast the special effects, however visually superb they are, lack soul.

Further visual style is found in the high fluidity of the action scenes, but however good these action sequences may be visually, they are lacking in tension and true excitement. The slow motions shots take out much of the tension, leaving the viewer somewhat unengaged throughout the many chases that develop throughout the film. Colin Farrell does a decent job in the main role, but whilst he is slightly more believable than Arnold Schwarzenegger he is nowhere as much fun to watch. However, it doesn’t help that we are so unengaged in proceedings that it is difficult to care about the character’s outcome. Kate Beckinsale is unconvincing as someone with any authority and Bryan Cranston isn’t in the film long enough to make a threatening villain.

I recall that I had a whale of a time watching the original Total Recall (I’m still quoting it today), but recollection of remake will be difficult as I would struggle to remember much aspects of the rather unmemorable, uninspired and lifeless remake.


A picture of Zooey Deschanel, just for the hell of it.


  1. I refused to watch this movie. What the fuck was wrong with the original Arnold one?

  2. I actually think this one had worst FX. Sure, the CGI is... "cleaner". But the original's practical FX won't feel dated in the future.