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Total Recall

Release Date: 
08/03/2012
Rated: 
MPAA: PG-13
Star Rating: 
5 out of 10

Way more forgettable than the title suggests.

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
The Pitch: Factory worker Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) tries to shake up his boring routine by going to Rekall, a company which implants thrilling memories into a client’s brain for a temporary escape. But after the scans reveal Doug is a secret agent whose mind has already been messed with, he discovers nothing in his life is as it seems.

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
Editor’s Note: The writer of this review had never seen the original Total Recall, which is why we thought it’d be fun to read a newbie’s less-bitter take on the movie.

Editor’s Note 2: We told her Total Recall was a movie based on the board game Memory. “That’s a great idea,” yelled Hollywood! Hollywood, stop eavesdropping on our meetings. Asshole.

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
What It Really Is: A movie with a cool concept but not a whole lot of life. The main problem is that our heroes, Doug and Melina (Jessica Biel), are so dull. Oh no, they’re on the run from the government? Should we care? “Care a lot,” said the movie screen. Well, damn, let’s put on our Caring Goggles. You’ll almost find yourself rooting for the villain since Kate Beckinsale seems to be the only one with some spark. She’s ruthless, badass and gets all the one-liners. To its credit, Total Recall looks really awesome (and very Blade Runner-esque). It’s just hollow.

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
About That Ending: It’s been said that the original Total Recall had an ambiguous ending. (Hence this story). But the new movie isn’t ambiguous at all and leaves nothing for the audience to solve, which is kind of a letdown given the story.

Speaking of Ambiguity... It would’ve been nice if they played with that whole “Is it real? Is it Rekall?” tagline more effectively. For all Doug’s talk of finding out the “real” him, there’s never much doubt as to reality vs. fantasy.

Photo Courtesy of Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
Maxim.com Ready-Made Press Blurb: “Total Recall is totally awesome. And so is this movie!” --Maxim.com

Who’s It For: Underworld fans, tech geeks, people who have always longed to see a topless three-boobed hooker in a PG-13 movie

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Editor’s Note 3: The writer of this review has now watched the first Total Recall and would like to make some additional points. First, if the remake's PG-13 rating wasn’t indication enough, there is more blood in the first 20 minutes of the original Total Recall than there is in the entire 2012 version. Also, while the technology in the remake is obviously sleeker, none of the devices boast the novelty of an up-the-nose tracker remover or Arnie’s exploding lady costume head. Most notably, while the current Total Recall takes itself pretty seriously, the original embraces humor and ‘80s cheesiness — the ‘90 release date is irrelevant; this is an ‘80s movie — and comes out more entertaining in the process. In short, the original wins hands down.