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total recall
Click for full sized poster

Total Recall

Starring Colin Farell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, John Cho and Bill Nighy
Screenplay by Kurt Wimmer and Mark Bomback
Screen Story by Ronald Shusett & Dan O'Bannon and Jon Povill and Kurt Wimmer
Inspired by the short story "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" by Philip K. Dick
Directed by Len Wiseman

IN SHORT: Calling this film a mess would be a compliment . . . [Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, some sexual content, brief nudity and language. 118 minutes.]

Total Recall begins with the fairy-tale romantic world of factory worker Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) and his way-too-beautiful-to-be-his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale). Lori has some kind of unspecified nine-to-five "government job." The world has been devastated by some kind of war (we guess) and all that remains is the United Federation of Britain, ruled by the megalomaniac Vilos Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston), and The Colony (formerly known as Australia), home of the poor working class people like Quaid. There is a revolutionary war underway between the Federation and independance-minded Colonists (sound familiar?), led by a legendary fighter named Hauser. Cohaagen has been spreading word of a Colony Army about to attack his Federation, thus justifying the constructon of a Doomsday Device type bomb. But that's for later . . .

Tempted by advertisements for a new mind [enhancement] technique called "Rekall", Quaid offers up his his personal fantasy -- he wants to be a super-secret spy that works not for one side in this "war" but for both sides. On a night when the wife has gone off to bed without the usual sexual antics, Quaid roams the streets and finally gives into his desire to enter the world of Rekall. Just as he is strapped into the Rekall device, all hell breaks loose. Government troops invade the Rekall offices, guns blazing. Out of necessity, Quaid grabs a gun and fights back, killing all ten troops. The media reports it as "a terrorist attack that killed twenty..." and Total Recall is off to the races, teaming Quaid with a rebel fighter Melina (Jessica Biel) working for the head of the underground resistance, the seldom seen Matthais (Bill Nighy)

Be glad that we explained it all to you. Total Recall disposes of its story in about ten minutes and turns the remaining screen time into one big series of battles. Even if we were back in our teenage years, when we'd eat up any film comprised of those "big series of battles," the lack of a decently written story to drive the action would have bored us silly. As a grown-up, Total Recall honestly bored us silly.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Total Recall, he would have paid . . .


the very definition of a disposable dateflick. Total Recall is just something to do 'cuz maybe the creators of this flick captured some of the excitement Arnold brought to the screen years ago . . . but it didn't.

amazon com link Click to buy films by Len Wiseman
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