Film Review – Total Recall
Director: Len Wiseman
Screenplay: Mark Bomback, Kurt Wimmer
Cast: Collin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bokeem Woodbine, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy.
Genre: Sci-fi thriller
Rating: ****** ( Out of 10)
Venue: Cine 5, Ster Kinekor, Maerua Mall
Collin Farrell gets back to business in the remake of the 1990’s sci fi thriller Total Recall. He plays factory worker, Doug Quaid who suspects that he is a spy after visiting Rekall, a company that provides its clients with implanted fake memories of a life they would like to lead. Things go horribly wrong because there are already similar memories existing in his head, and he finds himself on the run after he kills all the synthetic guards and has no idea about what just happened. He is not sure whether he is living his real life or that of the memory implanted into his head at Rekall. Is he a secret spy or is this just his fantasy?
The film’s first scenes are similar to the 1990 version, as they are recreated without any difference. Well, this version has better graphics and has synthetic robots instead of one-eyed aliens and is based on the United Federation of Britain instead of Mars. Quaid lives with his beautiful wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) in a carnival-styled shunting town where passengers have to pass through the earth’s core to get to where they are going. Beckinsale plays the supportive wife that does not mind that the two live in a dump. However her true motives are revealed when Doug comes home after his encounter with the synthetic army at Rekall. She turns on him and tries to choke him and then a fight erupts between the two leading to an escape by Doug. Lori is on a mission, a mission to kill Doug not only because she is following orders but also because she wants to take his place and be the best number one secret agent to have ever lived. She relentlessly pursues Doug, and hunts him down to finish him off against the instruction of her boss Chancellor Cohagen (Bryan Cranston) who wants Doug brought to him alive as he is still a worthy asset.
Doug is reunited with Melina (Jessica Biel), a woman from his past who helps him remember who he really is. She must take him to a man named Mathieus played by Bill Nighy, who is a suspected terrorist but turns out to be a good guy. Together they must stop the invasion of the synthetic robots into the United Federation of Britain from Australia which is known as ‘The Colony’. The master mind behind the robots (Cranston) has plans to replace mankind with the robots.
Compared to the 1990’s version which I watched when I was about fifteen, technology has advanced, and yes the movie still takes a futuristic approach with robots instead of aliens this time, but I would say this is a better version. It is more action-packed, the fight scenes look real plus I loved the gravitational reversals in the train-like traveling vessel known as ‘the fall’ and the flying cars. It is a good remake or reboot of the movie. It takes the same approach to existence as the Bourne movies, only Total Recall is about an ordinary factory worker who has to figure out who he is when things don’t seem to be what they are. I was intrigued by the movie from start to finish.
The stars did a good job in playing their characters. Farrell shows that he still has it and Beckinsale shows us that she can take on a femme fatale role anytime. Bill Nighy provides a touch of the austere.
A typical guy’s flick and a real action packed movie with more bullets fired than at a shooting range. It is one long amusement park ride with the actors jumping from elevators and roof tops. Overall it is a fun filled movie with good graphics, a whole lot of action, and the girl fight between two of Hollywood’s sexiest women, is just the cherry on the cake.