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Movie Review: Total Recall

Ramandan is officially over which means the summer blockbusters are finally hitting the big screens in Dubai. And this week, thanks to Empire International, I caught a chance to watch Total Recall a day before it premiered to the public in Dubai.

Starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel, and Kate Beckinsale, Total Recall is a remake of the 1990 hit film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Total Recall is set in the future where Earth has been limited to only two habitable territories: the United Federation of Britain (UFB) and the Colony (formerly Australia). The two territories are connected by a gravity elevator known as The Fall. Political tensions are increasing between the two territories as over population becomes an issue.

Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is haunted by nightmares with an unknown woman and craves something more from his routine life. He visits Rekall to have artificial memories of himself being a spy implanted into his head. However, a SWAT team attacks the facility and Quaid’s hidden skills kick-in thereby allowing him to murder the team and escape. He goes back to his home to confess to his wife Lori (Kate Beckinsale), who turns on him and tries to murder him. He escapes and with the help of the unknown woman from his dreams, Melina (Jessica Biel), he finds out he is actually Carl Hauser, a double-agent who has joined the Resistance trying to overthrow Chancellor Cohaagen of UFB.

I must confess that I’ve never seen the original Total Recall and thus didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. But based on the massive promotions and billboards I saw across New York City, I knew this was a movie I needed to see.

Total Recall isn’t a perfect film. It reminded me very much of a Salman Khan film where he is able to take down 50 bad guys without a scratch. No matter how absurd the situation, he survives and runs into the sunset with his lady love.

Colin Farrell carries his role as Quaid/Hauser well. You can empathize with his confusion of not knowing who to believe and who he really is.  And his work in the action sequences is well done.

Kate Beckinsale was by far my favorite in the movie. You can see she worked really hard for the action sequences and you almost want her to get her way. Jessica Biel, on the other hand, pales in comparison.

Total Recall has received its share of mixed reviews but I personally enjoyed the movie. The premise of a different world where there are only 2 colonies left is an interesting one, and was further supported by great visuals. This isn’t a movie that really delves into the psyche of the characters or explores deeper parallels to our world today. It’s essentially an action thriller worth watching this weekend if you want to escape the heat and don’t have anything exciting planned.

Dollz Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5



For a factory worker named Douglas Quaid, even though he’s got a beautiful wife who he loves, the mind-trip sounds like the perfect vacation from his frustrating life – real memories of life as a super-spy might be just what he needs. But when the procedure goes horribly wrong, Quaid becomes a hunted man as he finds himself on the run from the police.

Directed by Len Wiseman and distributed by Empire Films in the Middle East, the film released worldwide on August 3rd 2012 and was released across the Middle East on August 30th, 2012.

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