Free Mars! Or Australia. Or Something.


TOTAL RECALL (2012) Director: Len Wiseman Starring: Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsdale, Jessica Biel, and Bryan Cranston Rating: PG-13 for the same type of gunfights, hand to hand combat, and other violence filmed in ultra slow motion we’ve seen in every modern action flick. Thank you, Matrix movies!

The 1990 film Total Recall featured a top of his game Arnold Shwarzeneggar as a man who doesn’t know who he is battling with evil mutants and assorted villains over the fate of the planet Mars. A true classic in the science fiction action genre, Total Recall had plenty of bloody action and violence, a fast moving and twisty “who am I” sci-fi plot, and a mutant  hooker with three boobs:

Made you look!

Not pictured: Three reasons why science fiction is so awesome.

The 2012 remake of Total Recall also has a mutant hooker with three boobs and a twisty “who am I” plotline,  but instead of the Governator kicking bad guy keisters on Mars we get Colin Farrell fighting the chick from Underworld and the guy from Breaking Bad for the survival of a futuristic Australia that isn’t overrun with post apocalyptic leather clad bikers for a change.

So for the remake they changed the plot, but kept the boobs. I admire that in a movie.

Some time in the future, Earth’s population has been nearly wiped out by some kind of chemical war leaving the former Great Britain (now known as the UFB) and Australia the only places still habitable.  The “Colony” as Australia is now called, is dirty, overcrowded, and looks like it was built by the same guys who did the sets for Blade Runner.  An underground elevator known as “The Fall” whisks commuters in massive subway cars from The Colony to the UFB in 17 minutes, pausing for a brief gravity shift at the earth’s core where everything floats because it’s important to the plot later in the movie.

Bored factory worker Quaid (Farrell) is having trouble sleeping because he has dreams of a hot girl who isn’t his hot wife Lori. Lori is played by Kate Beckinsdale, who is married to director Len Wiseman and is therefore bound by Hollywood marriage laws to appear in every movie her husband makes.

Looking for a way to break the monotony of his humdrum futuristic routine, Quaid visits Rekall – a high tech company which implants memories into your brain so you can experience all the fun and excitement of a vacation without having to wait two hours on line at Space Mountain.

Unfortunately, the memory implant procedure thing goes to crap and Quaid kills a bunch of armor clad troops with the skill of ten Jason Bournes and at least two Jason Stathams. Now he’s on the run with a bunch of questions running through his brainwashed head: Why do the UFB cops want him? Why do people think he’s a secret agent? And how come his loving wife has turned into a psycho killing machine who wants to serve Quaid some 45 caliber divorce papers?

Total Recall shifts into one continuous chase scene as Quaid teams up with Melina (Jessica Biel) the hot girl from his dreams who fights for a resistance group trying to free The Colony from the cruel UFB Chancellor Cohaagan (Bryan Cranston) who wants to clean out Australia and replace everyone with robots who work for free and don’t sound like Paul Hogan. Quaid runs, jumps, drives, and shoots his way to the truth about why his mind was erased.  Hint: it wasn’t erased by lots of tequila during Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale.

 Total Recall has tons of over the top action sequences made possible with the latest state of the art CG effects that all the kids seem to like nowadays, but this old school movie guy misses old school movie magic; where effects guys rigged real explosions, car chases involved actual cars, and stunt people risk serious spinal injuries by jumping off really tall things while on fire – ah the good old days!

So what the dillio – did I like this high tech remake/re-imaging of a beloved sci-fi action film from my youth?


Sure, the three boobed hooker was a nice homage to the original, but without Mars, mutants, and Shwarzeneggar, Total Recall redux falls flat.

Total waste of a three boobed hooker if you ask me.





About Tom Levier

Tom is a New Jersey native who lived in New York City for a while, and is now back in the Garden State. He is creator and writer of Central Park: A Misguide, DVD Critics Corner!, and The Gallows. Please read, comment on, and subscribe to his blogs. It would make him very happy. When not writing, Tom enjoys making jewelry and other handmade items for his shop Cold Garage Creations. Check out his shop on Etsy!

Posted on January 17, 2013, in Action Movies, DVD, Movie Reviews, Movies, Netflix, Reviews, Sci Fi Movies, Science Fiction, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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