Opening from Columbia Pictures and Original Films on Friday August 3, 2012, the newest version of Total Recall, through written by the same authors of the first version, Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill and Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback, is totally different. Inspired by the story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale," by Philip K Dick, this version was produced by Neal H. Moritz and Toby Jaffe and executive produced by Ric Kidney and Len Wiseman.
Staring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho and Bill Nighy, the film, was directed by Len Wiseman and edited by Christian Wagner.
Revisioning a film is always tricky especially when you are using as your base a classic as the 1990 Paul Verhoeven version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. I found this current version to be darker and not as clear and lacking some of the imagination of the 1990 version, but brand recognition and star power should have fans coming to at least the opening weekend.
Following a worldwide chemical war, post-Apocalyptic earth offers a stark contrast between the only two surviving population centers, with the well-off United Federation of Britain (UFB) relying on the cheap labor of the impoverished inhabitants of The Colony to support a massive security force that keeps both regions under the thumb of menacing Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston).
Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) appears to be just another working stiff from The Colony who commutes to work on the massive cross-planetary transport known as “The Fall” to labor in a UFB factory manufacturing exoskeletons for the Synthetics, a robotic security force deployed to suppress the resistance, a shadowy rebel movement that’s seeking to topple the UFB. Although he’s happy enough with his blue-collar life and loving wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale), he’s plagued by dreams about a violent past and an unfamiliar woman (Jessica Biel).
Since he’s already imagining himself to be some sort of secret agent, Quaid decides to check out Rekall, a company that offers to create realistic memories for customers with the aid of drugs, electronics and some powerful psychological constructs. Quaid’s session goes way wrong almost before it can begin, when the initial stage of the Rekall process activates his suppressed personality and alerts the UFB security forces. Federal Police descend on Rekall, where Quaid kills them all in a shootout while channeling his newly acquired secret-agent skill set.
On the run and unable to remember any details from his violent past after discovering that Lori is an undercover UFB operative, Quaid follows a series of clues leading him inexorably on a search for resistance leader Matthias (Bill Nighy) and the woman from his dreams.
While the story is the same - A man pursued by mysterious forces with no apparent connection to his present life - it also has appeared in several other spy thrillers. The production designer, Patrick Tatopoulos has, however, created a futuristic world with flying cars and a regional elevator system, but that has appeared in other futuristic movies, as well.
Farrell's acting is great, but the character development in this story seems lacking especially when you compare it to the original and the romantic subplot between Quaid and the rebel leader Melina (Jessica Biel) needed more work. Both Beckinsale and Biel are great in the action scenes, even though Beckinsale's character is very one dimensional. This forces Wiseman to focus on the action scenes. Visual effects by Peter Chiang were great as was cinematographer by Paul Cameron in creating the diverse scenes. Costumes by Sanja Milkovic Hays and music by Harry Gregson-Williams added to the scenes.
The film is rated PG-13 and runs 118 minutes.
For more information go to www.totalrecallmovie.com