Total Recall (2012) Review

First off just forget about the original film entirely because it isn’t the same in anyway other than the recall thing. Not really impressed by this remake and I am not one of those people who hate remakes, I don’t mind an old film being redone but it has to be clever and original but also know what made the original so popular. However the visuals where good and I didn’t mind the new story which is actually more like the original plot from the book.

Welcome to Rekall, the company that can turn your dreams into real memories. For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell), even though he’s got a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man. Finding himself on the run from the police – controlled by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), the leader of the free world – Quaid teams up with a rebel fighter (Jessica Biel) to find the head of the underground resistance (Bill Nighy) and stop Cohaagen.

The best advice I can give to anyone going to see this film would be not to think about the original film but rather imagine somebody found the original book and made a film about it never seeing the original film.


To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was very neutral and it felt like they cast people from the neutral planet to read the most boring uninteresting lines imaginable (Futurama reference). The main character Douglas Quaid was ok (think that word will be used a lot in this review) nothing more nothing less just not a character with any personality of any kind. Sadly the characters you thought you would like Bryan Cranston and Bill Nighy wasn’t even in the film for more than 10 minutes in total (pretty much their lines off the trailer). Then there’s my main fault with this film, The characters had so little to say of any substance and I can honestly say I don’t remember any of the lines they said, Jessica Biel was the most bland and uninteresting character I can imagine in a film which actually annoys me because her part is supposed to be a strong female rebel leader but in this I kept forgetting she was even there. Kate Beckinsale didn’t do too badly but her lines where so terrible and lazy it became hard to watch, “I give good wife”, what?!

Think I have moaned enough about the characters now, so let’s talk about something more fun like the visuals. The special effects, physical props and visual landscape shots where both excellent viewing and brilliantly immersive to the world of recall where only two places on earth are habitable. The high rise scenes and the general look of the overcrowded city, to be fair they basically copied a crowded Chinese city then added three levels to it. The best thing I felt about this films look was the way that the whole world was made from the same graphics but sadly it felt a little been done if you know what I mean. Still no complaints on that subject so I will move onto the fight scenes/chase scenes which were pretty average and some were actually boring. The scene with the hover cars was somehow boring I mean seriously a car chase that was boring even terrible films get that right.

Must Watch Trailer:

The best review I found would be “We used to do the future so much better. Let’s not forget that. Let’s forget this instead.” David Sexton. That’s actually true really because there have been loads of good films about a future earth but very few good ones recently.” It’s escapism that is itself trapped in a prison of risk-phobic, formulaic filmmaking. ” Robbie Collin. It did seem like this film was just being safe and not risking anything that would make this film interesting really. My favourite scene without giving anything away would be err… ok I don’t have one really and will say what my friends who went with liked the best. Chris: The last fight scene, Craig: “3 Boobs”, Micheal: “The whole taking on 20 people after recall & the parkour chase was probably my favourite scene”.

Finally I would like to talk a little about some of the things they said they did better in this than the original and what things I would have changed to make this a little more successful. First of they said that this film was going to follow the book more along the lines of trying to make it seem like what was real and what was recall more intense and conflicting with quads mind but I didn’t see a great deal of difference which is really bad because the if you saw the original then you know exactly how this film ends. Second I think if they changed some of the details like dialogue and just some fun lines to make this film stand out a little, you know something to quote that doesn’t make your eyes role behind your head. Three I liked the robots and thought they looked good but I was hoping that one of the robots was going to be smarter and sadistic in hunting Quaid down but then it would turn out Cohaagen was controlling it and micromanaging the whole operation from the beginning, but this didn’t happen (nerding out a bit then). Finally fourth I would have liked a better casting choice for most of the roles but to be fair if they changed those other things it wouldn’t have made as much of a deal that this was.

Side note, how did they show boobs on a 12A rating?

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

15 responses to “Total Recall (2012) Review”

  1. Mavi says :

    having little memories of the original, I enjoyed this it wasn’t great, wasn’t ground breaking in any way but what it did (mainly a lot of coping) it did well…


  2. wordschat says :

    I wasn’t crazed about the movie and I never saw the original. It was just so much jumping and breasking glass. I liked Kate Beckinsale som much I’ld like to watch all the Underworld movies. “I give good wife” is the best sexual line or any line this summer season. Good review!


  3. CMrok93 says :

    This one may have been fairly predictable in spots but at least it kept me glued to the screen with it’s fun, sci-fi look and action. Also, Beckinsale seemed like she was having a ball with this role and it’s probably the best I have seen from her so far. Good review Tim.


  4. todayiwatchedamovie says :

    In answer to your side note, being fake probably factored into it. I’m sad that I’m the only one who loved this 😦


    • Tim The Film Guy says :

      Well my friends seemed to like it more than I did, but the more I thought about it the lower my score got so maybe it’s just something a very unique market will like haha 😀


    • Tim The Film Guy says :

      Well my friends seemed to like it more than I did, but the more I thought about it the lower my score got so maybe it’s just something a very unique market will like haha 😀

      And i also thought about it being that they were fake 😀


  5. jmount43 says :

    I haven’t seen this one and I honestly don’t want to. The only reasons would be for Beckinsale and Biel and I can see them being gorgeous in something else. Besides the last Total Recall I saw I was working at a pizza parlor as delivery boy. When I stepped out of the theater I was a Secret Service agent with an affinity for Malibu Barbie. 🙂


  6. le0pard13 says :

    The only things I enjoyed in this was Colin and Kate’s performances. When they were on screen and interacting, I got the most out of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they release an uncut version as it seems there was more there, but it was left on the cutting room floor. Fine review.


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