Total Recall (2012)

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(out of 5)


The stylistics and effects of Paul Verhoeven’s 1990 adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s “We Can Remember It For You Wholesale” are starting to look creaky, making a reboot of the story wholly welcome and, in this case, very enjoyably executed. The story has been given a facelift (and, sadly, this time goes nowhere near Mars) as  plays a bored construction worker who visits a virtual reality laboratory in order to enjoy a vacation in his dreams. As soon as he is plugged into the network his brain goes haywire, authorities show up and start shooting people and before he knows it he is on the run for his life. Farrell’s identity turns out to be complex, as he is a false memory grafted onto an older one with connections to the rebel army that is looking to overthrow the current world order. Now he is escaping his formerly loving wife (, surprisingly not bland) and teaming up with a new friend () who turns out to be from his past. Terrific action sequences and superb visual effects are a delight and more than make up for plot elements that are wholly ridiculous (commuters travel from Australia to the United Kingdom, the world’s only two inhabitable countries, by dropping through the centre of the earth in a subway system whose delays I do not want to imagine), while Farrell’s game performance and the beautiful imagery keep you dazzled throughout. This one’s a lot of fun.


Total Recall, Original Film, Prime Focus, Rekall Productions

USA/Canada, 2012

Directed by

Screen story by , , , , Screenplay by Kurt Wimmer, , based on the motion Total Recall, Screen story by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Jon Povill, Screenplay by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon,

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

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