Action remake is fun but not memorable
The complexities of the brain, and the ease with which it can be tricked, are the central themes of Total Recall, a testosterone-fuelled remake of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzennegger action adventure – itself inspired by Philip K Dick's short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale.
Punctuated by thrilling action set pieces set to Harry Gregson-Williams's bombastic score, Len Wiseman's film barely pauses for breath to worry about characterisation as preposterous twist follows outrageous turn.
Fans of the Arnie version will be two steps ahead of the screenwriters, but directorial brio and eye-popping special effects hold our interest when there is nothing on screen to fire our little grey cells.
In the late 21st century, Earth is a radioactive wasteland apart from two outposts on opposite sides of the planet: the prosperous United Federation of Britain (UFB) ruled by Chancellor Cohaagen and the polluted, rain-saturated Colony, home to millions of workers and the underground resistance led by Matthias.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Factory worker Doug Quaid (Colin Farrell) lives in this hellhole with his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale) and travels to work in the UFB with best friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) via The Fall, a giant elevator running close to the Earth's core which links the two settlements.
Unfulfilled and frustrated, Doug visits Rekall, a shadowy company that promises to realise clients' dreams by implanting artificial memories.
In Doug's case, he wants to be a super spy.
Shortly before the procedure a Rekall technician discovers that Doug's memory has already been wiped.
In the blink of an eye, the factory worker's world implodes and he goes on the run in the company of rebel agent Melina (Jessica Biel).
Total Recall is bombastic fun so long as you disengage your brain and submit to the gargantuan leaps in logic.
Wiseman directs set pieces with aplomb, including a high-speed hovercar chase and a dizzying pursuit through a tower block's labyrinthine lift shafts.
Enjoyable, but not particularly memorable.