Director Len Wiseman
) revisits Paul Verhoeven
's 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger
sci-fi thriller in this action remake. There are no new surprises after 22 years, and no Arnie either.
Based loosely on Philip K Dick
's novella We Can Remember It For You, Wholesale
, this blockbuster sees a future earth poisoned and reduced to just two densely populated areas: Western Europe (dominated by England) and the Colony (Australia). Of course!
Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell
) is a disillusioned factory worker in a humdrum marriage to Lori (Kate Beckinsale
). Quaid tries to escape his boredom at a memory implant company called "Rekall". He acquires super-spy memories – as a result, all hell breaks loose.
Evidently, he really is a rebel super-spy who had his memory erased ... or is he? Lori is now a killer out to get him, having pretended to be his wife ... or did she? (In one of the few memorable lines: "I give good wife!").
Quaid is involved in a conspiracy involving arch-villain Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston
), who wants to invade the Colony, with an army of robot soldiers (straight out of Star Wars
). Along the way, Quaid teams up with fellow rebel Melina (Jessica Biel
) and his memory gradually returns ... or does it?
This is non-stop action, and apart from one clever sequence involving an anti-gravity shoot-out, it has all been done before.
The setting is reminiscent of Blade Runner
, but without Ridley Scott
's foresight and future fashion sense. Given that Blade Runner
is now 30 years old and its setting was more memorable and detailed, what does this tell us about Total Recall
Not much, just like the expressionless Farrell. Arnie could get away with it, because he is, well, Arnie. But much has been borrowed from other sci-fi thrillers, nothing new introduced.
With the closing credits, memory erasure is guaranteed.
Watch the trailer here