Review: Total Recall

Loosely based on the Philip K. Dick short story We Can Remember It for You Wholesale and the 1990 film of the same name, Total Recall is set on a dystopian futuristic Earth where chemical warfare has ravaged all but two areas, the United Federation of Britain (where apparently only one person has an British accent) and the Colony (a mix of Australia and Asia, or as I like to call it, Austrasia). Colin Ferrall plays factory worker Douglas Quaid.  Unhappy with his mundane existence, Quaid decides to visit Rekall, a company that specializes in implanting memories of a more exciting life.  While at Rekall, Quaid finds out that his memory has been altered before and that the life he's leading may not be real.  Quaid discovers that he was a double agent sent in to infiltrate and sabotage a resistance movement but eventually went rouge.  Quaid must find out whether his life as a factory worker, with wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale), is real or if his life as a member of the resistance, with lover Melina (Jessica Biel) is genuine.

This movie is very middle-of-the-road.  It does nothing of note to distinguish itself from the 1990 Paul Verhoeven film.  Say what you will about the 1990 Total Recall but it's over-the-top acting, corny dialog and ridiculous amount of unnecessary violence at least make that movie memorable.  This new Total Recall feels very bland and somewhat forgettable.  Colin Farrell does a decent job of carrying this movie.  He's very different from Arnold Schwarzenegger's corny, one-liner spewing, meat head.  Farrell's version of Quaid is an actual human being and not a walking stereotype.  However, its a double edge sword.  Farrell is played straight but ultimately not unique while Schwarzenegger's cornball dialog and terrible delivery is completely memorable (even if it is for the wrong reasons).  The rest of the cast is hit or miss.  Kate Beckinsale seems to enjoy being relevant again, Jessica Biel just seems lost, and Bryan Cranston seems to enjoy mixing it up with Farrell as one of the films villains.

I can't wholeheartedly recommend a movie that I almost fell asleep through.  If you truly want to check this out, wait for it to hit cable.  For everyone else, get your ass to Mars as its probably the furthest place you can be from this rather boring movie.

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