For those of you who don’t have total recall and cannot remember every writer I have written about in every review I have written since 1998 wake up! For those who can, you can skip to the bottom line of this review now.
For the first, and, smaller group Total Recall is a remake of the 1990 film which starred the former muscleman, then action film actor, former Governor of California and now cameo actor, Arnold S. The film was about a time in the future where you could go to a store, have chemicals sent into your body which created vacation trips and adventures that you could remember at a future date as if you had experienced them for real. Arnold S. played the guy in the middle of either a bad purchasing experience or a real life adventure on Mars. I’m not sure to this day which it was. The film did have a great main title and superb action score by Jerry Goldsmith.
The film was based then, as now, on a story by prolific short story writer and novelist, the late Philip K. Dick (1928-1992). After sending out a prior review a good friend sent me a short email asking “that isn’t really his name, is it? PKD was a writer of unusual and imaginative tales that have been made into movies on a regular basis. These include Blade Runner (1982), Imposter (2001), Spielberg’s Minority Report (2002), more recently Next (2007) and last year’s The Adjustment Bureau. There are more.
Now Total Recall makes yet another appearance. Colin Farrell takes on the Arnold S. part. Kate Beckinsale plays the traitorous wife Sharon Stone portrayed in 1990. Jessica Biel is the heroine. While the 1990 film took place mostly on Mars, this time the story is centered on Earth. At about 100 years from now the Earth is only habitable in two areas. Around Great Britain and Australia. Everybody lives in one or the other. In the longest and oddest work commute, the workers from down under travel through the Earth to GB every day to toil. CF becomes involved in the brain manipulation fix and ends up in a high thrill action packed two hours of special effects and shootouts. The bad guy has a synthetic army that looks an awful lot like left over Storm Troopers from the Star Wars series. While there are a few story differences, there are not enough to make a big difference to anyone with total recall of Total Recall from 1990. If you have not seen the first one this one is pretty good. If you have, it’s still pretty good but predictable.
Currently in development by Walt Disney Animation is a project called King of the Elves which should be out in 2013. Guess who wrote the story it’s based on? Looks like we will be together yet again for more on the work of Philip Kindred Dick. Yes, that is his real name, Bob K. Miss you.
Rated 2.8 out of 4.0 more remakes of this story in our future. All of PKD’s stories were set in the future.