Movie Review: Total Recall: A Movie Worth Recalling


A remake of the classic 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger futuristic action flick, Total Recall hit theaters in early August, putting a new spin on the much-loved classic. Director Len Wiseman teams up with a small crew of writers and the latest computer-generated effects in an effort to bring the original Paul Verhoven film into the 21st century. Total Recall starts out following the life of seemingly ordinary working man Doug Quaid. Unhappy with his life, Doug goes to try out “Rekall,” a virtual simulator that gives you any memory you ask for, for the right price. But things go awry when Doug finds out he’s actually a secret agent whose memory’s been replaced, and that’s when not-so-average Doug embarks on an adrenaline-fueled adventure that he won’t soon forget… again.

I don’t think anyone can outdo young Arnold Schwarzenegger in an action film. But the new Total Recall gave him a run for his money for sure. Highly entertaining, action packed, and filled with great computer-generated effects, the new Total Recall definitely did its predecessor some justice. Although they seem to have used the original storyline as more of a guideline, seeing as the plot has similarities but doesn’t really stay true to the original through and through, it still makes for an interesting plot.

The cast itself, originally seeming a bit mismatched, was more impressive than I’d first thought it’d be. Colin Farrell did a great job, considering the shoes he had to fill, and delivered as this movie’s main character, Doug Quaid. Kate Beckinsale did a fantastic job as well, as she got to tap into her primal side, usually reserved for vampire flicks. Jessica Biel seemed a bit misplaced in her role, although she kept up with the rest of the cast fairly well. But I wouldn’t cast her in too many action films.

The action itself was nothing spectacular, but it was still very well done. The use of camera angles and panning shots made the action seem more intense than it was in some parts, which was a good call by the director of cinematography. But the main attraction would have to be the CGI for this film. From the landscape, to the robotic foot-soldiers, to the flying cars, the CGI for this film was very well crafted. Granted, it was not too spectacular, but there was definitely enough quality that it didn’t hinder the film in any way, and it didn’t overpower the plot or the characters, either.

Overall, Total Recall was a good use of an hour and a half if you’re looking to be entertained. Fans of the original may not enjoy it as much, but any newcomers to this storyline should be pleased by this exciting remake. Seeing as it was entertaining, but not mind-blowing, this viewer rates the new Total Recall with a solid 3 out of 5. I won’t be forgetting this movie anytime soon.

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