Total Recall: What is Real (2012)

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
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total-recall-posterAfter experiencing a strange dream one night, Douglas Quaid passes through the next day beginning to question his experience and whether or not he could find meaning in his existence. While his friend tells him to just go home for the night, Douglas chooses to try out an out-of-body experience called “rekall.” Before the process can even begin, the administrator pulls the plug as a SWAT team floods into the room. Out of nowhere, he takes out ten SWAT members and survives the onslaught of several more. Returning home in a state of confusion, he confesses everything to his wife but suddenly finds himself locked in a battle for his life. As he evades capture, he runs into a woman from his dream, who scoops him up and tries to protect him as he works to regain his memory and figure out where he fits into the larger conflict between the United Federation of Britain and the Colony.

Starring: Colin Farrell (Douglas Quaid/Carl Hauser), Kate Beckinsale (Lori Quaid), Jessica Biel (Melina), Bryan Cranston (Cohaagen), Bokeem Woodbine (Harry), Bill Nighy (Matthias), John Cho (McClane), Will Yun Lee (Marek)

While this reboot follows the original story to a certain extent, the cast gives the film a whole new flair. Colin Farrell plays his role rather well, going from ignorant bliss to confused investigation. Biel, meanwhile, comes off a little flat but fills her place as the love interest and sidekick. Beckinsale is a rather devious villain, showing quite a bit of gusto in her pursuit of Farrell. Cranston also makes quite a villainous addition, but maybe not as impressive as some of his other acting roles. Nighy, Cho and Woodbine round out the cast to at least fill the needs of the story progression.

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Len Wisemen’s decision to reimage the 1990 classic takes advantage of the improved technology to make a deeper, more realistic looking imaginative world. Douglas did not realize that his whole existence was an illusion put together by a villainous dictator hellbent on destroying the Colony and eliminating any threat of a power struggle against the United Federation of Britain. When Douglas wandered into the Rekall center and attempted to drift into a dream world, the system reactivated pieces of his memory and sent him on a path to rediscover who he was and what he was fighting for. Lori’s pursuit and Melina’s support slowly drove him closer and closer to understanding his role in taking down the corrupt Cohaagen. The Resistance had actually been framed on numerous occasions, preventing anyone from ever realizing how deep the conspiracy went to eliminate the Colony.

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There were some significant differences between the 1990 version of the story and this one to distinguish it as a re-imagination of the story rather than a true remake. The 1990 version was made based off of a short story, but added a number of elements (such as a Mars colony and mutants). The 2012 version followed more of a focused story while taking more time to try to challenge viewers with the dream or reality element. When Douglas goes to Rekall, it appeared that the plug is pulled right before the injection goes through his veins, but the camera never allowed viewers to get a good look. After that point, the standoff against his “friend” left viewers questioning whether Douglas was falling in and out of consciousness. What interestingly could actually negate the premise of the entire movie is the fact that Douglas’s status as a former UFB agent would mean that he would be recognizable to others unless there was some sort of memory erasing technology.

The film is action-packed and can keep the viewer guessing what is real and what is made up by the Rekall process.

Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5

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Comments
  1. CMrok93 says:

    Good review. This film was a whole bunch of fun and even though it was very predictable, I still turned my brain off for a good 2 hours and enjoyed myself. Also, can’t go wrong with a cast like Biel, Beckinsale, Farrell, and Cranston, just to name a few.

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