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TV show review: CONTINUUM season 4

TOTAL RECALL 2012 movie review

By David Blackwell


118 minutes, rated PG-13


STUDIO:  Columbia Pictures/ Original Film

Theatrical RELEASE DATE:  8-3-2012


STARRING Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, John Cho

STORY by Ronald Shusett and Dan O’Bannon, Kurt Wimmer and John Povill

SCREENPLAY by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback

Inspired by “We Will Remember It For You Wholesale” by Philip K Dick

Based on the 1990 film version of TOTAL RECALL

DIRECTED by Len Wiseman

The new version/ remake of TOTAL RECALL is an action driven film with some political overtones.   It is a more serious version compared to the 1990 version which this 2012 film is very loosely based on.   It starts out close to the original film before going off in its own direction.   Lori’s character is combined with Michael Ironside’s character from the original to have a killer bitch that wants Quaid dead and Kate Beckinsale is the standout actor in this movie.   I wanted to cheer her on since Colin Farrell is such a non-presence in this movie because Colin doesn’t have the charisma like Arnold did with the same role (Even Jessica Biel has more presence and yet she isn’t as good as Rachel Ticotin as Melina).


I felt under whelmed by this new version as I missed all the humor and hyper violence of the 1990 film.   The special effects do help create a Fifth Element/ Blade Runner/ Total Recall 2070 type of world which is amazing to see.    The new score is not bad for this new version, but Jerry Goldsmith’s score still rules.   TOTAL RECALL 2012 isn’t a train wreck and yet it doesn’t eclipse or equal the Paul Verhoeven film, but it does have great visuals and non stop action sequences that run like a bullet train.   I miss the mutants and the humor.   I do like the spin the new film puts on the scenes from the 1990 movie as it works to be its own creation.


The film opens with Quaid having the same nightmare over and over that he is bored by his current life that he decides to make a trip to a memory service called Rekall where you live fake memories as good as the real ones.  When he visits Rekall, everything starts going to hell for Quaid as he is soon shooting at the security forces of the United Federation of  Britain (that is a mix of human stormtroopers and robots) while on the run from Lori who is just an agent planted there to pose as his wife.   Quaid begins to find out about his previous life as a secret agent known as Hauser while Chancellor Vilos Cohaagen plans an invasion of the colony since land is precious due to most of the planet being rendered uninhabitable by chemical warfare.  UFB and the Colony (aka Australia) are connected by an underground travel system (which runs near the Earth’s core during part of the trip) that workers use to travel back and forth.   The rebels led by Mathias are trying to break free from the hold of the UFB, but the terrorist attacks aren’t helping (and the question is who is behind them- Mathias or the UFB).


TOTAL RECALL has great action, world building, a good score, and Kate Beckinsale.  However, the rest is missing that made the 1990 film so awesome.   Len Wiseman is becoming a good action director and Kate Beckinsale (his wife) works well with him (her third film with Len as director).    Kurt Wimmer is probably responsible for writing the great action stuff, but I wish TOTAL RECALL had more great political undertones like the underrated EQUILIBRIUM (written and directed by Kurt Wimmer).   The script has great action like EQUILIBRIUM, ULTRAVIOLET, and the UNDERWORLD films.  Still I hope the director’s cut on Blu-ray (with 17 more minutes) will help clear some things up and make the movie a little bit better.    If you want great action and Kate, go see it in the theaters.  Otherwise I say wait for the director’s cut to come out on Blu-ray.


This movie review is (c)8-5-2012 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com