The original “Total Recall” (1990) starring Ah-nold Schwarzenegger was Director Paul Verhoeven’s vision of Phillip K. Dick’s short story: “We can remember it for you wholesale”. Phillip K. Dick was an incredibly original and imaginative science fiction writer whose works were made into movies through the years. “Blade Runner” (Do androids dream of electric sheep?). Minority Report”. “The Adjustment Bureau”.
This rehash of the 1990 original starring Colin Farrell shares the same basic idea in a radically different setting. As a fun diversion, a mundane working guy elects to inject some adventure into his life at an artificial reality service. He then starts living the adventure in real time, but as it progresses, it becomes very unclear what’s real and what’s Memorex.
Re-runs rarely match originals, the obvious exceptions being Godfather II and Aliens (2). Accordingly, the 2012 version is not getting stellar reviews. Rates a miserly 31% from the Tomatometer, but more viewers (56%) liked it. Still, not a particularly good showing.
But I must disagree with the other reviewers.
The production is imaginative, well constructed and the action sequences and computer generated effects are first rate. Brings together some of the facets of “Blade Runner” and “Star Wars”. Colin Farrell does a competent job of pulling the fantasy and reality together while maintaining convincing confusion and wonderment. Technically, I think he’s better than Schwarzenegger was in 1990. Getting chased down by a female that might resemble your soon-to-be-ex wife looking for the hidden money is well done and plenty scary by Kate Beckinsale.
And of course, the most important part of the film that half the attendance of the 1990 film stayed for a second showing to see again……. the scene everyone demanded, some refused to consider seeing the 2012 version if it was omitted…….of course I mean……the three-breasted lady. Yes….she’s there.
I think the 2012 version of Total Recall is entertaining, well done and well recommended.
I give it a solid four LED hand-phones out of five.