Total Recall (2012)

Total Recall is a fast, loud, and borderline headache inducing action movie. The movie sacrifices a lot of plot and character development in favor of impressive action and visuals. For what it is, it’s a decent thrill ride but Total Recall lacks any type of story to set it aside from a generic action movie.


For the longest time there was an internal debate on whether or not I should watch the original Total Recall before checking out the newest remake. After hearing a few negative reviews I went ahead and made the decision to wait until after I saw the new Total Recall to see if the other reviews were just holding to nostalgic memories of the original. Having seen it I can say that movie has more problems than just fond memories of the 1990 Total Recall.

Total Recall is a great action movie, but that’s where I draw the line. The movie felt like it was going to be a mind game but there’s very little of that. I will say that forty-five minutes into the movie there is an awesome scene that deals with whether or not the main character’s life is real or memory, but that was it. Everything else is pretty straightforward and we are able to pretty much quickly figure out what’s what. There’s no sense of mystery or anything to make us feel like we’re being tricked.

The highest praise for the movies goes to its action and its visuals. The movie features a lot of great and explosive action that busts on screen pretty much start to finish. The movie rarely takes a break to have any sort of exposition and it feels like we are just pushing through the movie with very little details given. The camera work on the action is borderline headache inducing and made me feel sick in some scenes. I will say though that I do believe the theater I was in was having problems with their projector and I was already having to squint at a darken screen, so I’m not sure how valid this claim holds up. However, the camera was very shaky and hard to follow on the action.

Visually the movie is great and features a lot of cool scenery as well as awesome futuristic gadgets. A lot of the scenery is brought to life with CGI, which reminded me a lot of the Star Wars prequels. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, yet. It looks great now but I have hard time believing that the movie will hold up in the next 5-10 years.

Minor Spoiler Alert

 

 

There’s a pretty great scene towards the beginning of the movie that deals with the method of travel in the Total Recall world. It’s established that there are only two habitable living zones left after a chemical war left Earth devastated. The way they reach these zones is through a transportation called The Fall, which travels through the center of the Earth. There’s a scene where the gravity switches as they make their way past the core and everything begins to float and change. This scene takes place again towards the end of the movie and both times it is a neat visual scene.

End Minor Spoiler Alert

 

The cast was decent but I didn’t feel like any one actor brought forth something that was worth noting. This is due mostly to a lack of any characterization in the movie. As stated above the movie is a fast pace train ride that rarely stops for any progression in the story. Which is a shame, the movie could have done more with the actors they had but instead sacrificed plot for action. I was really looking forward to seeing Bryan Cranston especially coming off my recent viewing of the Breaking Bad series. He’s already proven himself an incredible actor in the series and was highly underutilized in this movie. What he’s given in Total Recall is great but again, the characters were all so bland and were nothing more than generic ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’.

Total Recall is a fast, loud, and borderline headache inducing action movie. The movie sacrifices a lot of plot and character development in favor of impressive action and visuals. For what it is, it’s a decent thrill ride but Total Recall lacks any type of story to set it aside from a generic action movie.

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2 responses to “Total Recall (2012)

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of December 17th | thinkingcinematic

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