Total Recall Review by Keith Kelly “Total Recall” is a big mess! I’m Keith Kelly, and my review is coming up right now.

Hollywood loves to pump out generic action adventure Sci-Fi films, and they almost never get it right. “Total Recall”, unfortunately, is not the exception to the rule.

This re-imagining of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger version makes the earlier film shine in comparison. Not that the original was any masterpiece, or that Arnold brought Oscar-quality acting to the party, but the 90’s take had huge helpings of outrageousness and eye-popping extreme action, and was a campy good time at the theatre.

The look, feel and action of this film, while obviously labored over, feels un-original, tired and borrowed-not just from the first Recall, but also from other films like “The Fifth Element”, “Attack of the Clones”, “The Bourne Identity” and especially the environments from “Blade Runner”, which was also based on a Phillip K. Dick story.

I’m really not sure why Hollywood feels they have to take thoughtful material from great science fiction authors like Mr. Dick and water it down. The original premise of the story “We can Remember It for You Wholesale” is pretty cool-if you can’t trust your memories, what can you trust? It featured a meshing of reality, false memories and real memories.

The best science fiction takes you on a fun ride, but also makes you think. There’s not a whole lot of thinking to do in “Total Recall”-in fact the film is probably much more enjoyable if you turn your brain off. Aside from the original premise, much of the plot structure makes absolutely no sense. Most of the world has been destroyed and contaminated by a chemical war, leaving what is left of humanity to live in what was once the U.K., and in the former Australia. How and why were those two areas left untouched and why doesn’t fall out affect them? Who knows! International travel is no longer done through aircraft, but instead by the world’s largest elevator dug straight down the middle of the earth. Really. I could go on for a long time about the asinine plot, but why bother-it’s all a bunch of nonsense created around the action beats. Don’t get me started about the robot army.

Colin Farrell is wasted as the lead-Douglas Quaid. He does his best with what he is handed, and makes a very capable action star, but he is buried in the crap that is the script. Aside from the dual aspects of his character, and the hidden natures of some of the others, all of the characters exist as black or white, with absolutely no complexity. The good guys are good and the bad guys are really bad.

This is definitely a “wait for the DVD” kind of movie-or better still, wait for it to pop up on basic cable. Lots of cool visuals, attractive leads, some nice women fight scenes, but don’t spend your money on something that is not much more than one extended chase scene. I give “Total Recall” a grade of “C-“. I’m Keith Kelly.

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