Total Recall; a film about memories, fantasy, reality and how to decipher which one of those creates your true existence. I was familiar with the story already as I'm a massive fan of the original film adaptation starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. With both films loosely based on the short story by Philip K. Dick " We Can Remember It for You Wholesale", I was keen to see what new inspiration and life had been breathed into this blockbuster remake by director Len Wiseman.
At the end of 21st century, the Earth is divided into two territories—the United Federation of Britain and The Colony, after the 3rd World War left the majority of the planet uninhabitable. For factory worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), life on The Colony has become draining with overpopulation and lack of resources. Quaid is frustrated and troubled by a recurring dream that haunts him and although he has a home, job and loving wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale), he feels a mind-trip provided by Rekall would make for the perfect escape. Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real life memories.
When the procedure goes horrendously wrong, Quaid finds himself to be in a very peculiar position, being hunted by the police force controlled by the ruthless Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) of the UFB.
He realises there is no one in his life he can trust, except possibly Melina (Jessica Biel), a rebel fighter working for the head of the underground resistance, Matthias (Bill Nighy).
With the lines between reality and fantasy profoundly blurred, it is up to Quaid to discover his true identity, true love and the true fate for him and the planet.
Total Recall is jam packed with impressive visual effects, fight scenes and intriguing futuristic possibilities. For me, there was a little lacking in the development of the characters' personalities. Also, as always there was your quota of corny lines, but that didn't really detract as that's just something you come to expect and sometimes have a little giggle at.
Colin Farrell does a pretty solid job as Quaid and very surprisingly, I found Jessica Biel to be quite endearing in this role. I wasn't mad for Kate Beckinsale as I thought her cold and calculating demeanour came across more simply as just a bit bland. I was happy to see Bryan Cranston as Cohaagen and he portrayed the determined chancellor well. But if you're at all familiar with his stunningly compelling acting skills in Breaking Bad, as I am, you may end up hoping that he'd brought a bit more of a "quietly crazy" Walter White vibe to the part, as I did.
All in all I found it to be an enjoyable action movie and tried not to compare it to the original, even though they felt the need to provide us with the now simply gratuitous feature of the three-breasted woman. If you're keen for explosions, special effects and a bit of rough and tumble, including a fairly heavy-duty scuffle between Kate and Jessica, then it's probably a safe bet you'll like this movie.
If I'm ever involved in any high risk, post apocalyptic catastrophes,I can only hope to stay as pulled together with perfectly tousled hair, glossy lips and unscathed clothing as Ms Kate Beckinsale does.